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A Mosaic of Traditions - One Virtual Sangha => The Dharma Express => Topic started by: Spiny Norman on November 18, 2011, 06:40:57 am

Title: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on November 18, 2011, 06:40:57 am
I thought it would be interesting to explore what Nirvana is ( and isn't ).

To start us off, here is an extract from Wiki.


"The Buddha described nirvāna as the perfect peace of the state of mind that is free from craving, anger, and other afflicting states (kilesas). In nirvāṇa the deeply set roots of craving (Pali: tanha, raga, lobha) and aversion (Pali: dosa)—dispositions of the mind/brain apparatus considered in Buddhism the cause of human suffering (dukkha—the first noble truth according to the Buddha)—have been dissolved and uprooted. These underlying dispositions furthermore are the basis for the process of repeated incarnation so their uprooting means that one is no longer subject to further rebirth in samsāra. In the Dhammapada, the Buddha says of nirvāna that it is "the highest happiness", an enduring, transcendental happiness qualitatively different from the limited, transitory happiness derived from impermanent things.

Nirvana is also characterized by transcendental knowledge or bodhi a concept translated most commonly into English as 'enlightenment'. This knowledge is considered in terms of being fully awake to the true nature of reality (see bodhi). One who possesses or abides in bodhi is called a buddha or arahant. The Buddha explains the unique character of the enlightened mind as a result of it having become "unconditioned" (asankhata) which is to say free from the conditions formerly obscuring it by the volitional formations. This ultimate state is described by the Buddha as "deathlessness" (Pali: amata or amāravati) and naturally accrues in the fullness of time to one having lived a life committed to the threefold training (Noble Eightfold Path). Such a life is concerned with performing wholesome actions (Pali: kusala kamma) with positive results and finally allows the cessation of the origination of worldly activities altogether with the attainment of nibbāna. Until then beings forever wander through the impermanent and suffering-generating realms of desire, form, and formlessness; collectively termed: samsāra."

Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime on November 18, 2011, 02:22:10 pm
Nirvana just means "Not produced, not destroyed". 

In other words, that which does not arise, nor cease.  It did not begin, and so it will never end.  It was never created, hence will never be destroyed.  That which is not-born and therefore will never die. 

It means neither coming into being, nor ceasing to be - because of this, birth and death have ended - so Nirvana is a realm beyond birth and death, a place where birth and death have ended - therefore it is a realm where the drawbacks of impermanence (i.e., old age, decay, sickness and death) can not touch.

To understand it better, you need to know what the conditioned is, vs the unconditioned.  Conditioned means things that arise and cease.  Unconditioned means things which do not arise nor cease.  We live in the conditioned world - just about everything we see arises and ceases.  Hence any happiness that we seek in the conditioned world will naturally be conditioned and impermanent - any happiness that we find in our everyday world will eventually decay and cease.  This is because anything that is impermanent is time-bound - once it arises, it will dwell for a bit and then decay and die off - this is the pattern of all impermanent things.  The Buddha is pointing to a happiness that is not subject to impermanence - that does not decay because it is not time-bound.  As he said, Nibbanam parramam sukkham - Nirvana is the highest happiness.

Other names for Nirvana/Nibbana are the True Mind and the Buddha Nature.

This is a rough starting point to understanding it.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on November 18, 2011, 03:28:12 pm
My understanding is that nibanna is what is left once all attachments, defilements, taints, hindrances, fetters, and shackles have been abandoned leaving a mind void of descriptions, views, perspectives, definitions, all manner of mental factors and activities; able to be experienced, but not described.  A mind beyond luminosity.

My question is, "What moves into nibbana?"...or, are we already in nibbana, but just can't experience it, because of all the obstructions?

(All answers must be warrantied for the full value of the product.)
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: dhammaseeker51 on November 18, 2011, 03:53:42 pm
The highest contentment.
Content to simply be, concious, aware, wanting nothing.

with Metta
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime on November 18, 2011, 05:12:10 pm
Nirvana is also the ending of greed, hatred and delusion/ignorance.

So getting back to basics of the 4 Noble Truths and Dependent Origination.

There is the origin of suffering which is Tanha/Craving, i.e., greed - the desire to get.  The desire to get rid of something (hatred).  In Dependent origination, there is ignorance as the first link.  With the cessation of these 3 things - greed, hatred and ignorance - what do you get?....  Yes, you get Nirvana.

So the Buddha's teachings all tie in and are inter-related - because they pretty much all point to Nirvana, a state which neither comes into being nor ceases to be.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: t on November 18, 2011, 05:30:34 pm
Where only supreme catness is....no trace of dogmatism iz  :cheesy:
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime on November 18, 2011, 06:09:54 pm
My question is, "What moves into nibbana?"...or, are we already in nibbana, but just can't experience it, because of all the obstructions?


Nothing moves into Nirvana, nothing goes out of Nirvana - it is beyond movement.  Why?  Because what moves, changes.  What doesn't change is fundamentally free of arisings and ceasings, free from creation and destruction, free from comings and goings etc...  What changes is bound by time and impermanence.  Nirvana is beyond this.

Actually, Nirvana is present with us in the here and now - it's just that we think it's lost and something so unattainable.  Remember that Nirvana is something that neither comes into being nor ceases to be - it is not something that is created when we get enlightened (remember, it's not something that is created or destroyed) - so considering this why do we think that Nirvana is lost right now?

The second is the primal pure substance of the beginningless Bodhi Nirvana. There is no beginning; therefore the Buddha calls it “beginningless”; it was even before the beginning itself had occurred.

”Bodhi” is Sanskrit; it is interpreted to mean “awakening to the Way.” There are three kinds of Bodhi: The Bodhi of the true nature, which refers to your inherent Buddha-nature. Originally, everyone has the Buddha-nature; The Bodhi of actual wisdom, which refers to your genuine wisdom, not false wisdom; Expedient Bodhi, which refers to the state of people who have accomplished Bodhi and who then use expedient and clever means to teach and transform living beings. These three kinds of Bodhi can be said to be one. Divided they are three; in combination they are one. Together they are the Bodhi of the true nature, and from it comes the Bodhi of actual wisdom and expedient Bodhi.

Where does Bodhi itself come from? Bodhi doesn’t come from anywhere or go anywhere. Each of us is endowed with it. No one person has any more or less of it than anyone else. It neither increases nor decreases, is neither produced nor extinguished, is neither defiled nor pure.

Most people think that nirvana follows upon death, but actually it is not necessarily an after-death state. It is the certification to and attainment of a principle. “Nirvana” is a Sanskrit word which is interpreted to mean “neither produced nor destroyed.” Since it is neither produced nor destroyed, birth and death are ended. 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.

It is the primal bright essence of consciousness. “Primal” means that it is originally a pure substance, that is, one which is neither defiled nor pure, neither increasing nor decreasing. Originally its light illuminates everywhere. “Consciousness” here does not refer to the eight consciousnesses, nor to the eye-consciousness, the ear-consciousness, the nose-consciousness, the tongue-consciousness, the body-consciousness, the mind-consciousness, nor the manas or the alaya consciousnesses. It is not any of the eight consciousnesses. It refers to the essence of consciousness, which is but another name for Bodhi Nirvana. The phrase is used here to avoid repetition for the sake of literary style. It refers to the most essential and wonderful aspect of consciousness, the inherent Buddha-nature, the bright substance of the permanently dwelling true mind that can bring forth all conditions. Because of conditions, you consider it to be lost. Because these causal conditions arise, you keep getting farther and farther away from where you want to be, like someone running farther and farther down the road. Didn’t I say before that the more Ananda answered the Buddha’s questions the farther off the track he got? All conditions are transformed and appear from within the primal bright essential consciousness, but after a long time of clutching at these conditions, it seems that something has been lost. What is lost? Nothing, really. The primal bright essential consciousness seems to be lost, but it isn’t. The primal pure substance of Bodhi Nirvana is the true jewel in your household. Basically, it is right there with you but you don’t know how to use it to your advantage. Since you can’t use it, it seems to be lost. It is as if you had a valuable gem which you have hidden away so well that after a long time you can no longer remember where you put it. Once you forget where it is, you can no longer make use of it. Although you may be destitute, you don’t know how to get at it and derive benefit from it. It’s the same as if it weren’t there. What do you use instead? You use your false thinking, your mind that seizes upon conditions. In the process you forget the true mind, and once it is forgotten, it is as good as lost. And this is why you have not become Buddhas and are bound up by birth and death instead: you have not found your true mind.

Source:  Master Hsuan Hua's commentary to the Shurangama Sutra (Sutra text in bold)
http://www.cttbusa.org/shurangama1/shurangama1_22.asp (http://www.cttbusa.org/shurangama1/shurangama1_22.asp)


You can actually open up to the unconditioned during your meditation and use this as your basis for stillness in meditation - so it's not some abstract theory but something which the Buddha encouraged us to USE in our own meditation.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 18, 2011, 07:46:29 pm
Many ideas, anybody an idea to come rid of ideas? *smile* I mean, we could simply look for our self. Well if we run a travel agency its pretty important to find tasty words.

"Hey, that guy might know where I like to go." *smile*
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on November 18, 2011, 09:20:49 pm
Cessation, mere irreversible cessation.

Kind regards
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on November 19, 2011, 02:51:57 am
Nibbana Sutta: Total Unbinding (1) translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

"There is that dimension where there is neither earth, nor water, nor fire, nor wind; neither dimension of the infinitude of space, nor dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, nor dimension of nothingness, nor dimension of neither perception nor non-perception; neither this world, nor the next world, nor sun, nor moon. 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."

Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on November 19, 2011, 03:02:33 am
The Island: An Anthology of the Buddha’s Teachings on Nibbāna (http://www.abhayagiri.org/main/book/1788/)
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on November 19, 2011, 03:04:12 am
The Island: An Anthology of the Buddha’s Teachings on Nibbāna ([url]http://www.abhayagiri.org/main/book/1788/[/url])


I've got that book but found it quite heavy going.

CP
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on November 19, 2011, 04:10:25 am
Nibbana Sutta: Total Unbinding (1) translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

"There is that dimension where there is neither earth, nor water, nor fire, nor wind; neither dimension of the infinitude of space, nor dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, nor dimension of nothingness, nor dimension of neither perception nor non-perception; neither this world, nor the next world, nor sun, nor moon. 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."

So, please check my conclusions with regard to experiencing nibanna.:

The process we follow is to:

1.  Study The Dhamma
2.  Practice:  Meditation, & Mindfulness
3.  Live our lives in accordance with The Noble Eight Fold Path, The Middle Way.
4. Attain right and harmonious understanding and penetration of The Dhamma.
5. Eliminate all defilements of mind, abandoning all taints, fetters, hindrances, & delusions.
6.  Restore mind to its natural luminosity
7.  Mind (the luminous container now free of mental factors) dissolves and disperses, gone the way of The Tathagata.
8.  Nibbana is directly experienced / revealed / attained.

There is no need to go anywhere.  Nibanna is not a place, it is a state of existence.  Nibanna has been here all along, and is here as we write and read this message, we just couldn't and can't directly experience that reality, because of our conditioned defilements of mind.

Next question:

If we (all of us) were experiencing 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?
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime on November 19, 2011, 04:37:06 am
The Island: An Anthology of the Buddha’s Teachings on Nibbāna ([url]http://www.abhayagiri.org/main/book/1788/[/url])


I've got that book but found it quite heavy going.

CP


It is a BRILLIANT book on Nirvana :).
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on November 19, 2011, 04:44:36 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
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder 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."
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime 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.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze 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?
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground 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
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder 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.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze 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*
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground 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.

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.015.than.html[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.015.than.html[/url])


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
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder 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.

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.015.than.html[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.015.than.html[/url])


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.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze 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*

Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman 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
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman 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
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman 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
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground 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.

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.015.than.html[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.015.than.html[/url])


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.

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.009.ntbb.html#phassa[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.009.ntbb.html#phassa[/url])

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.'

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.065.than.html[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.065.than.html[/url])

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."

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.043.than.html[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.043.than.html[/url])

feeling & perception <-> consciousness


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

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

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.009.ntbb.html[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.009.ntbb.html[/url])


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

Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder 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.

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.015.than.html[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.015.than.html[/url])


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.

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.009.ntbb.html#phassa[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.009.ntbb.html#phassa[/url])

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.'

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.065.than.html[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.065.than.html[/url])

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."

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.043.than.html[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.043.than.html[/url])

feeling & perception <-> consciousness


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

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

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.009.ntbb.html[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.009.ntbb.html[/url])


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! 
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime 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 (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 (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 (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.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime on November 19, 2011, 08:30:22 pm
One also needs to know the difference and different contexts in which the word "mind" and "consciousness" are used in various Suttas and Sutras - that are not the same and there is a BIG difference.

As Master Hsuan Hua said in his commentary to the Shurangama Sutra that I quoted earlier:
- “Consciousness” here does NOT refer to the eight consciousnesses, nor to the eye-consciousness, the ear-consciousness, the nose-consciousness, the tongue-consciousness, the body-consciousness, the mind-consciousness, nor the manas or the alaya consciousnesses. It is not any of the eight consciousnesses.
- It refers to the essence of consciousness, which is but another name for Bodhi Nirvana. The phrase is used here to avoid repetition for the sake of literary style. It refers to the most essential and wonderful aspect of consciousness, the inherent Buddha-nature, the bright substance of the permanently dwelling true mind that can bring forth all conditions.


And when you read nama (as in nama-rupa) referred to in Dependent Origination, it means mind and body - as in the 5 Skhandas/5 Khandas.  Namely:
- Mind:  Feelings, thinking, formations and consciousness (i.e., vedana, sanna, sankhara, vinnana)
- Form:  The body (i.e., rupa)
The consciousness referred to here means the sense consciousnesses/vinnanas.  These things all arise and cease - and so, are within the realm of birth and death.

The "Essence of consciousness" refers to the citta/the Bodhi Citta, i.e., the True Mind (also called the Buddha Nature) which Master Hsuan Hua says is just another name for Bodhi Nirvana.  This still remains when ignorance and suffering ceases, because it is beyond the realm of birth and death.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime on November 20, 2011, 04:47:45 am
How else do we know that Nirvana is permanent?  The Buddha said so:

It is the Unformed, the Unconditioned, the End,
the Truth, the Other Shore, the Subtle,
the Everlasting, the Invisible, the Undiversified,
Peace, the Deathless, the Blest, Safety,
the Wonderful, the Marvellous,
Nibbana, Purity, Freedom,
the Island,
the Refuge, the Beyond.
~ S 43.1-44

Cited on Page V of The Island, An Anthology of the Buddha's Teachings on Nibbana.  By Ajahn Passano and Ajahn Amaro.
http://abhayagiri.ehclients.com/pdf/books/The_Island_Web_Final.pdf (http://abhayagiri.ehclients.com/pdf/books/The_Island_Web_Final.pdf)

That and the fact that it is also called the Deathless.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on November 20, 2011, 06:43:24 am
And if "nama" and "mind are emptied by the 8fold path. What remains?
Form/rupa remains and that is called "nibbana with remainder".

Rupa without nama?  Materiality without mentality?  Body without mind?  How could that possibly be? 

And from the section quoted above on Dependent Origination ( extract below ) it's clear that the cessation of this "entire mass of suffering" depends on the cessation of name and 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 birth, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair all cease. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of stress & suffering."

CP
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on November 20, 2011, 06:45:20 am
One also needs to know the difference and different contexts in which the word "mind" and "consciousness" are used in various Suttas and Sutras - that are not the same and there is a BIG difference.

Yes, that's one of the challenges in a discussion like this. :wink1:

CP
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on November 20, 2011, 07:11:26 am
And if "nama" and "mind are emptied by the 8fold path. What remains?
Form/rupa remains and that is called "nibbana with remainder".

Rupa without nama?  Materiality without mentality?  Body without mind?  How could that possibly be? 
nibbana with remainder will show.

And from the section quoted above on Dependent Origination ( extract below ) it's clear that the cessation of this "entire mass of suffering" depends on the cessation of name and form.
Yes, that is the cessation of rebirths. However before the death of the body there may be (i.e. there is not necessarily) nibbana with remainder.

kind regards
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on November 20, 2011, 07:19:07 am
However before the death of the body there may be (i.e. there is not necessarily) nibbana with remainder.

We need to look more carefully at what the "remainder" is though.  I don't see how it can just be rupa with no nama.  In some suttas "remainder" refers to a remainder of clinging.

CP
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on November 20, 2011, 07:23:58 am
I don't see how it can just be rupa with no nama. 
As long as one is not liberated one will not be able to "see how".

To assess the liberated from the perspective of the ordinary, that is impossible.
"Mentality", "feeling", "perception", "consciousness", "volitional formations" all these are expressions applied to the ordinary, necessarily involved with dukkha and ignorance.

Kind regards
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime on November 21, 2011, 02:06:50 am
In Digha Nikaya 11, the Kevaddha Sutta, a monk wanted to find out the answer to the question, "Where is it that the 4 elements (earth, fire, wind, water) cease without remainder?"  The monk was a skilled meditator, so he stilled his mind to such a state where he ascended to the Heaven of the 4 Great Kings, where he met the Devas there to ask that question.  To which they replied that they did not know - he should ask the Rulers of that Heaven, who should know - the 4 Great Kings, but they didn't know and referred them to a higher heaven - the Trayastrimsa Heaven of the 33.  The Devas in the Trayastrimsa Heaven didn't know either but their leader, Shakra, King of Gods should know - but he didn't know either. 

The monk kept on getting referred up to a higher heaven each time until finally, he met the Great Brahma, the Creator, the Father of all that has been and shall be.  The monk asked that question to the Great Brahma 3 times, and all Brahma could say was, "I am the Great Brahma, Creator, Father of all that has been and shall be" each time.  The monk said, "Hey, stop saying that!  I didn't ask you that!  I asked you where the 4 elements cease without remainder!"

Eventually, Brahma took that monk aside away from his retinue, saying, "These other Devas think that there is nothing that the Great Brahma does not know or hasn't realized.  You were wrong to have bypassed the Buddha to seek the answer to this question, and trying to find the answer elsewhere.  Go right back to the Blessed One and however he answers you, take that answer to heart."

When he returned to the Buddha, he asked the question.  The Buddha replied, "You have asked the question in the wrong way - you should have asked the question in this way":

‘Where do earth and water, fire and wind, long and short, fine and coarse, pleasant and unpleasant, no footing find?
Where is it that name and form are held in check with no trace left?’

‘Consciousness which is non-manifestative, endless, lustrous on all sides.  Here it is that earth and water, fire and wind, no footing find.
Here again are long and short, subtle and gross, pleasant and unpleasant name and form, all cut off without exceptions.  When consciousness comes to cease, these are held in check herein.’
~ ibid, (Bhikkhu Ñanananda trans.)


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.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on November 21, 2011, 02:34:28 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
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on November 21, 2011, 04:43:59 am
Quote
Optimus Prime:  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.

I don't see them as different.  When one ceases all cease.  This is nibbana without remainder.  Not cognizable, not able to be expressed without direct experience.  Not even sure if any human mental or physical processing term can be applied.  Probably not.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on November 21, 2011, 04:46:56 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?
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on November 21, 2011, 04:48:02 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
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on November 21, 2011, 04:49:51 am
When one ceases all cease.  This is nibbana without remainder. 

This sounds like annihilation though.

CP
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on November 21, 2011, 05:02:11 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?

Based upon my experience of losing consciousness during a heart attack several years back ( January of 1999), there was nothing to fear.  Quite peaceful, actually.  Very pleasant to see an end to all worldly concerns and experiences.

If the word "annihilation" lingers motivating grasping at consciousness, perhaps considering that it might just be annihilation of all attachments, leaving only compassion, loving-kindness, equanimity, and great joy for the accomplishments of all beings.  Even if this is not so, in truth, it would be a step away from fear, and from the dukkha brought on by all forms of clinging, grasping, and desire.

It is a difficult thing to do, for certain.  So, long as we are alive we will be clinging, grasping, and desirous of our next sustaining breath.  And, if we williingly release all attachment to consciousness, how will we know if we are still breathing?
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on November 21, 2011, 05:08:02 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
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder 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 (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn06/sn06.015.than.html)

and:  http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.16.1-6.vaji.html (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.16.1-6.vaji.html)
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground 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
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime 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 (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.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 21, 2011, 08:01:49 pm
Quote
Samanupassanaa Sutta: Ways of Regarding ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.047.wlsh.html[/url])

"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*
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground 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
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground 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
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime 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 (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 (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)
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground 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 (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.

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn35/sn35.028.than.html[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn35/sn35.028.than.html[/url])



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
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze 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*
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground 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 :)
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 22, 2011, 12:29:33 am
Image Rahu is at this stage maybe better. *smile*

(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qMeMaOGTf5E/TrU2HuW9cEI/AAAAAAAAAHM/fkEEEnQf1hw/s400/32.JPG)

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).
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman 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



Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman 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
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman 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
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground 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
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground 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

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.009.ntbb.html[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.009.ntbb.html[/url])



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.
 
[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.002.than.html[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.002.than.html[/url])




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
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime 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:
[url]http://www.freesangha.com/forums/general-buddhism-discussion/what-is-nirvana/msg45874/#msg45874[/url] ([url]http://www.freesangha.com/forums/general-buddhism-discussion/what-is-nirvana/msg45874/#msg45874[/url])

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).
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground 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:
[url]http://www.freesangha.com/forums/general-buddhism-discussion/what-is-nirvana/msg45874/#msg45874[/url] ([url]http://www.freesangha.com/forums/general-buddhism-discussion/what-is-nirvana/msg45874/#msg45874[/url])

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
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman 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

Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman 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
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman 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
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman 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
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder 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.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman 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
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground 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
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman 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
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman 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
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder 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? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sShMA85pv8M#)
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground 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
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman 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
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on November 25, 2011, 07:04:15 am
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.

What I'm clinging to is what the suttas actually say, not to eccentic theories which don't make sense.  The second Noble Truth makes it clear that the proximate cause of suffering is craving, not contact or feeling as you seem to be suggesting.  The cycle of DO is "broken" at craving, not at contact - contact is just the interaction of sense organ, sense object and sense consciousness, and clearly this is still experienced by a Buddha. 
So at the point of enlightenment what ceases is craving and clinging, not "nama", not contact, not feeling, not the aggregates

CP
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 25, 2011, 07:19:50 am
Maybe its useful to retell it (http://www.freesangha.com/forums/general-buddhism-discussion/what-is-nirvana/msg46024/#msg46024). *smile*
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on November 25, 2011, 07:35:58 am
Maybe its useful to retell [/url=http://www.freesangha.com/forums/general-buddhism-discussion/what-is-nirvana/msg46024/#msg46024]it[/url]. *smile*


I'm not sure what this is pointing to. 

CP
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 25, 2011, 07:48:56 am
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/06/Gumby.png)

*smile* you are great
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on November 25, 2011, 04:23:37 pm


"I'm not sure what this is pointing to." 

CP


First Base! 

While the "proximate cause" of dukkha (physical & mental pain, suffering, stress and dissatisfaction) may be craving, the root cause is ignorance.

Quote
"Well then — knowing in what way, seeing in what way, does one without delay put an end to the effluents? There is the case where an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard for men of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma — assumes form to be the self. That assumption is a fabrication. Now what is the cause, what is the origination, what is the birth, what is the coming-into-existence of that fabrication? To an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person, touched by that which is felt born of contact with ignorance, craving arises. That fabrication is born of that. And that fabrication is inconstant, fabricated, dependently co-arisen. That craving... That feeling... That contact... That ignorance is inconstant, fabricated, dependently co-arisen. It is by knowing & seeing in this way that one without delay puts an end to the effluents.

resource:  [url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.081.than.html[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.081.than.html[/url])
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on November 26, 2011, 03:45:25 am
While the "proximate cause" of dukkha (physical & mental pain, suffering, stress and dissatisfaction) may be craving, the root cause is ignorance.

Yes, ignorance ceases at the point of enlightenment, and therefore craving / clinging.  The debate here is about what doesn't cease at the point of enlightenment. 

CP
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on November 26, 2011, 05:16:21 am
While the "proximate cause" of dukkha (physical & mental pain, suffering, stress and dissatisfaction) may be craving, the root cause is ignorance.

Yes, ignorance ceases at the point of enlightenment, and therefore craving / clinging.  The debate here is about what doesn't cease at the point of enlightenment. 

CP


According to you there is quite a lot that doesn't cease.

Do you come to your conclusions from the perspective of ignorance or from the perspective of enlightenment?

 :teehee:
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on November 26, 2011, 06:01:57 am
While the "proximate cause" of dukkha (physical & mental pain, suffering, stress and dissatisfaction) may be craving, the root cause is ignorance.

Yes, ignorance ceases at the point of enlightenment, and therefore craving / clinging.  The debate here is about what doesn't cease at the point of enlightenment. 

CP

Aging, disease, as dukkha, and all those processes and attributes of from associated with the physical body cease upon death.

All forms of mental factors resulting in dukkha cease at unbinding and release, except those which are required to sustain the physical forms.  What remains are those resultants of kamma, which have not yet born fruit.

I am not aware of any sutta which summarizes this so specifically, but there are explanations of each one in different suttas.  I will look about and see what can be gathered and herein deposited for your examination and review.   :-P
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on November 26, 2011, 07:41:28 am
While the "proximate cause" of dukkha (physical & mental pain, suffering, stress and dissatisfaction) may be craving, the root cause is ignorance.

Yes, ignorance ceases at the point of enlightenment, and therefore craving / clinging.  The debate here is about what doesn't cease at the point of enlightenment. 

CP


According to you there is quite a lot that doesn't cease.

Do you come to your conclusions from the perspective of ignorance or from the perspective of enlightenment?

 :teehee:

My conclusions are based on what the suttas say.

CP
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on November 26, 2011, 07:45:40 am
All forms of mental factors resulting in dukkha cease at unbinding and release, except those which are required to sustain the physical forms.  What remains are those resultants of kamma, which have not yet born fruit.

Could you say what you mean by "mental factors resulting in dukkha"?  Do you mean craving, aversion and ignorance? And / or other mental factors, and if so, which ones?

CP
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on November 26, 2011, 10:10:50 am
All forms of mental factors resulting in dukkha cease at unbinding and release, except those which are required to sustain the physical forms.  What remains are those resultants of kamma, which have not yet born fruit.

Could you say what you mean by "mental factors resulting in dukkha"?  Do you mean craving, aversion and ignorance? And / or other mental factors, and if so, which ones?

CP

Mental factors are all those which exist only in mentality, but not in physical forms.  A short list would include:

1.  Thoughts
2.  Emotions
3.  Feelings
4.  Memories
5.  Projections

...anything which arises from the six consciousnesses and which resides purely in the mind.  Mind contained, and dependent upon the consciousness are they are they.  Anything which cannot arise without consciousnesses.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on November 26, 2011, 09:28:16 pm
While the "proximate cause" of dukkha (physical & mental pain, suffering, stress and dissatisfaction) may be craving, the root cause is ignorance.

Yes, ignorance ceases at the point of enlightenment, and therefore craving / clinging.  The debate here is about what doesn't cease at the point of enlightenment. 

CP


According to you there is quite a lot that doesn't cease.

Do you come to your conclusions from the perspective of ignorance or from the perspective of enlightenment?

 :teehee:

My conclusions are based on what the suttas say.

CP

That is the reason why I am asking. If you relied on only what the suttas say you would not take refuge to your own conclusions ...

Kind regards
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 26, 2011, 10:02:53 pm
So you rely on your own conclusions in taking about Nirvana and its attributes? *smile* 
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on November 26, 2011, 10:39:04 pm
So you rely on your own conclusions in taking about Nirvana and its attributes? *smile*

When posting please indicate whom you are referring to.
If you are referring to me then "no, I do not rely on conclusions."


Kind regards
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 26, 2011, 10:40:56 pm
So what, dear TMingyur if not on it? *smile*
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on November 26, 2011, 10:43:41 pm
So what, dear TMingyur if not on it? *smile*

On suttas only.


Kind regards
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 26, 2011, 10:52:20 pm
Dear TMingyur, how comes that two persons referring to the suttas and would not agree? Both of them claim to refer only at the suttas? *smile*

And why would one say after hearing the other quotes that he refers only on suttas: "That is the reason why I am asking. If you relied on only what the suttas say you would not take refuge to your own conclusions ..." in this context?

Would the suttas give us understanding? Would there be a better explaining aside the suttas?
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on November 26, 2011, 11:02:36 pm
Dear TMingyur, how comes that two persons referring to the suttas and would not agree? Both of them claim to refer only at the suttas? *smile*
It is just that the other party affirms what is not affirmed by the suttas and concludes what is not stated by the suttas. That is the difference.

I can refrain from my own verbalization using terms and terminology applied in suttas and still what I said about what ceases is exactly the explicit verbal expression in suttas.
However the other party cannot find evidence in suttas stating explicitly what he asserted to continue.

That is the difference and that is why - putting aside my own verbalizations - I still can rightly say that I am relying on suttas only.


And why would one say after hearing the other quotes that he refers only on suttas: "That is the reason why I am asking. If you relied on only what the suttas say you would not take refuge to your own conclusions ..." in this context?
Because there was affirmation of own conclusions.


Would the suttas give us understanding?
I cannot speak for "us".

Would there be a better explaining aside the suttas?
No.

Kind regards
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 26, 2011, 11:12:00 pm
Quote
That is the difference and that is why - putting aside my own verbalizations - I still can rightly say that I am relying on suttas only.

Dear TMingyur how does that goes conform with:

"Would there be a better explaining aside the suttas?"

"No."

If it wouldn't be just an other verbalization which would be always aside of the realization behind. *smile*
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on November 26, 2011, 11:17:17 pm
Quote
That is the difference and that is why - putting aside my own verbalizations - I still can rightly say that I am relying on suttas only.

Dear TMingyur how does that goes conform with:

"Would there be a better explaining aside the suttas?"

"No."
How could it not conform? Since there is no bette explaining aside the suttas I am relying on suttas only.
Where do you see a contradiction?

If it wouldn't be just an other verbalization which would be always aside of the realization behind. *smile*
What do my own verbalizations have to do with what I am relying on? I am ready to cancel all my own verbalizations and still I do rely on the suttas.

Kind regards
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 26, 2011, 11:42:33 pm
Dear TMingyur,

there was not a single disagreement in the suttas from other discussion participators, but the disagreement as far as I read was regarding statements beside the suttas.
So if you say, you relay on the suttas and you would verbalize it in a different way, you would need to have realizations. Not having them would lead to misinterpretations of the suttas, isn't it?

Maybe the question "How can we find out our self?" is more useful as "Is that the right interpretation?". Even having realization one (not a Buddha) would not be able to express it better than a Buddha but maybe would not cause possible misunderstandings. That is why we are secure by just transporting and relay on the suttas as long as they exist. *smile*
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on November 27, 2011, 12:18:50 am
Dear TMingyur,

there was not a single disagreement in the suttas from other discussion participators, but the disagreement as far as I read was regarding statements beside the suttas.
The suttas, e.g. MN9, clearly state what ceases through the 8fold path. To say that this only refers to {this and that context} but that what the suttas say does nevertheless not cease upon attaining nivana has no basis in the suttas but is mere personal conclusion contradicting what the sutta says.

So if you say, you relay on the suttas and you would verbalize it in a different way,
No, I never said this!

What I am saying is that the meaning of the teachings conveyed by the suttas cannot be better expressed than it is expressed by these suttas.

I am ready to cancel all my own verbalizations because these can never and will never match the expressions laid down in the suttas. I do not have a view that is worth to be defended.


you would need to have realizations. Not having them would lead to misinterpretations of the suttas, isn't it?
Neither do I claim to have realizations not do I claim to have none.


Maybe the question "How can we find out our self?" is more useful as "Is that the right interpretation?".
The suttas do not need interpretation.


Even having realization one (not a Buddha) would not be able to express it better than a Buddha but maybe would not cause possible misunderstandings. That is why we are secure by just transporting and relay on the suttas as long as they exist. *smile*
You are right. But this does not necessarily entail "remaining silent" when the suttas are misrepresented or some of the teachings in the suttas are constantly being ignored.

Kind regards
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 27, 2011, 01:05:30 am
Its just my opinion: Just to focus on what is not is maybe a better approach to lead in the right direction rather than to grasp for an explaining of what which is naturally in-grasp-able.
In this way, there could be no right and wrong and their could be an agreement on what is not, which is quite enough to take the right path. We could call it faith out of understanding.

As you always prefer: "If this is, there would be that", "If that is, this is not possible" but if we take something that is beyond our ability to judge we would just be supported by our ideas and preconceptions.

So far I had understood, is the idea of "I" which ceases and with it being subject or object to the all and its phenomenas, be they mentioned as rupa or nama by somebody attached to "I" or "Not-I". (I am not sure if that would be found in the suttas, so its just an idea)
*smile*
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on November 27, 2011, 01:33:07 am
Quote
The way leading to the cessation of nutriment is just this Noble Eightfold Path

And what is the way leading to the cessation of suffering? It is just this Noble Eightfold Path


The way leading to the cessation of aging and death is just this Noble Eightfold Path

The way leading to the cessation of birth is just this Noble Eightfold Path

The way leading to the cessation of being is just this Noble Eightfold Path

The way leading to the cessation of clinging is just this Noble Eightfold Path

The way leading to the cessation of craving is just this Noble Eightfold Path

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 the sixfold base is just this Noble Eightfold Path

The way leading to the cessation of mentality-materiality 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 formations is just this Noble Eightfold Path

The way leading to the cessation of ignorance is just this Noble Eightfold Path

The way leading to the cessation of the taints is just this Noble Eightfold Path

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.009.ntbb.html[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.009.ntbb.html[/url])




Now who would want to say
"But upon attaining nirvana {this or that [mentioned in the sutta above]} does not cease because if it would cease then this {unwanted consequence} would ensue and therefore the cessation mentioned above has to be interpreted to mean {this and that own conclusion}".
?

Or

Who would want to say
"But upon attaining nirvana {this or that [mentioned in the sutta above]} does not cease because if it would cease then the Buddha could not have done {this or that}".
?

Who would want say this?

Not me!


Therefore cancelling all my own words uttered in this thread which may appear to a reader as if contradicting this sutta I herewith declare that upon attaing the "nirvana" taught by the Buddha each and every of these cessations necessarily has to happen and if there is any one of these cessations lacking then the "nirvana" taught by the Buddha cannot have been attained.


Kind regards
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on November 27, 2011, 07:35:19 am
Quote
The way leading to the cessation of nutriment is just this Noble Eightfold Path
And what is the way leading to the cessation of suffering? It is just this Noble Eightfold Path
The way leading to the cessation of aging and death is just this Noble Eightfold Path
The way leading to the cessation of birth is just this Noble Eightfold Path
The way leading to the cessation of being is just this Noble Eightfold Path
The way leading to the cessation of clinging is just this Noble Eightfold Path
The way leading to the cessation of craving is just this Noble Eightfold Path
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 the sixfold base is just this Noble Eightfold Path
The way leading to the cessation of mentality-materiality 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 formations is just this Noble Eightfold Path
The way leading to the cessation of ignorance is just this Noble Eightfold Path
The way leading to the cessation of the taints is just this Noble Eightfold Path

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.009.ntbb.html[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.009.ntbb.html[/url])




This passage is clearly referring to Pari-nibbana, not nibbana. 
Nibbana ( the point of enlightenment ) clearly not does not involve the cessation of birth, aging and death, feeling, contact, sixfold base, mentality-materiality and consciousness. 
If you're still in any doubt please re-read MN9 and see how these nidanas are described.

CP

 
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 27, 2011, 07:43:52 am
Which Sutta are you referring to, to get to this conclusion? *smile*

As far as I can read is that this sutta describes what cessation the noble eightfold path leads and what are the

Quote
Taints

68. Saying, "Good, friend," the bhikkhus delighted and rejoiced in the Venerable Sariputta's words. Then they asked him a further question: "But, friend, might there be another way in which a noble disciple is one of right view, whose view is straight, who has perfect confidence in the Dhamma and has arrived at this true Dhamma?" — "There might be, friends.

69. "When, friends, a noble disciple understands the taints, the origin of the taints, the cessation of the taints, and the way leading to the cessation of the taints, in that way he is one of right view, whose view is straight, who has perfect confidence in the Dhamma and has arrived at this true Dhamma.

70. "And what are the taints, what is the origin of the taints, what is the cessation of the taints, what is the way leading to the cessation of the taints? There are three taints: the taint of sensual desire, the taint of being and the taint of ignorance. With the arising of ignorance there is the arising of the taints. With the cessation of ignorance there is the cessation of the taints. The way leading to the cessation of the taints is just this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.

71. "When a noble disciple has thus understood the taints, the origin of the taints, the cessation of the taints, and the way leading to the cessation of the taints, he entirely abandons the underlying tendency to lust, he abolishes the underlying tendency to aversion, he extirpates the underlying tendency to the view and conceit 'I am,' and by abandoning ignorance and arousing true knowledge he here and now makes an end of suffering. In that way too a noble disciple is one of right view, whose view is straight, who has perfect confidence in the Dhamma and has arrived at this true Dhamma."

For sure its not good to take just selected single sentences out of a sutta. *smile*
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on November 27, 2011, 08:05:09 am
70. "And what are the taints, what is the origin of the taints, what is the cessation of the taints, what is the way leading to the cessation of the taints? There are three taints: the taint of sensual desire, the taint of being and the taint of ignorance. With the arising of ignorance there is the arising of the taints. With the cessation of ignorance there is the cessation of the taints. The way leading to the cessation of the taints is just this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.

The cessation of ignorance, craving and clinging and therefore cessation of the taints occurs at the point of enlightenment, ie Nibbana.  The cessation of dependent origination as a whole occurs at Pari-nibbana.

It simply doesn't make sense to argue that DO completely ceases at Nibbana, given the way the nidanas are described in the suttas eg in MN9. 
The suttas clearly describe the Buddha as still being subject to aging, sickness and death.  And they clearly describe him continuing to interact with the world as a human being, ie having contact via the 6-fold sense base, being conscious, a continuing expression of nama-rupa, etc etc.

CP
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on November 27, 2011, 08:20:43 am
Here is an extract from the Pari-nibbana Sutta, Total Unbinding, which gives a sense of the difference between Nibbana and Pari-nibbana:

"When the Blessed One was totally Unbound, simultaneously with the total Unbinding, Ven. Anuruddha uttered this verse:
He had no in-&-out breathing,
the one who was Such, the firm-minded one,
   imperturbable
   & bent on peace:
   the sage completing his span.
With heart unbowed
   he endured the pain.
Like a flame's unbinding
   was the liberation
      of awareness."
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 27, 2011, 09:22:13 am
And how would you explain this sentence?

Quote
71. "When a noble disciple has thus understood the taints, the origin of the taints, the cessation of the taints, and the way leading to the cessation of the taints, he entirely abandons the underlying tendency to lust, he abolishes the underlying tendency to aversion, he extirpates the underlying tendency to the view and conceit 'I am,' and by abandoning ignorance and arousing true knowledge he here and now makes an end of suffering. In that way too a noble disciple is one of right view, whose view is straight, who has perfect confidence in the Dhamma and has arrived at this true Dhamma."

As we "know" (from the suttas) there are quite many who have reached the end off suffering, still appearing for those subject to suffering as very similar and therefore it might be normal to think they would not got rid of it, here now and still "alive" but in a manner of deathlessness, without an "I" what should die? *smile* Rupa is just another mental concept and carries no "I" in it.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on November 27, 2011, 09:45:51 am
It's all about The Direction of Mind, dudes:

Quote
Numerical Sayings - Ańguttara Nikāya I [8-10]

Directed, Pointed and Clear - Paṇihita Sūka Accha

[8] At Savatthi . the Blessed Buddha said this:
Bhikkhus, that the needle-like bristle on rice-straws or barley should be able to puncture hand or foot or cause hand or foot to bleed, when badly handled and directed, that is not possible. What is the cause for that? Bhikkhus, it is because the needle-like bristle is wrongly handled and directed. Even and exactly so, Bhikkhus, that a monk's wrongly directed mind, should be able to break ignorance, produce direct knowledge and realize Nibbana, that is not possible! What is the cause for that? Bhikkhus, it is because that mind is wrongly directed.

However, Bhikkhus, that the needle-like bristle on rice-straws or barley should be able to puncture hand or foot or cause hand or foot to bleed, when pressed pointed and well directed into it, that is indeed possible. What is the cause for that? Bhikkhus, it is because the needle-like bristle here is pointed and well directed. Similarly, Bhikkhus, that a monk's rightly directed mind should be able to break ignorance, produce direct knowledge and realize Nibbana, this is indeed possible! What is the cause for that? Bhikkhus, it is because this mind is rightly directed.

Sometimes, Bhikkhus, when having encompassed a certain wicked persons evil mind with my mind, I come to know, that if he should make an end right here and now, he would rearise in Hell as certain as if he was forcibly dragged and dropped there. What is the cause for that? Bhikkhus, it is because that mind is corrupt. Moreover, Bhikkhus, it is due to such corrupted mentality, that certain beings here at the breakup of the body, right after death, rearise in a state of loss, having a painful destiny, in a downfall, even in Hell.

In another case, Bhikkhus, when having encompassed a certain good persons pure and clear mind with my mind, [9] I come to know, that if he should make an end right here and now, he would rearise in a divine state as certain as if he was dragged and dropped there. What is the cause for that? Bhikkhus, it is because this mind is pure, calm and clear. Similarly, Bhikkhus, it is due to such purified mentality, that certain beings here at the breakup of the body, right after death, rearise in a happy destiny, even in a divine world.

Bhikkhus, a man even with good eyes standing on the bank of a muddy, stirred and polluted lake would neither see the gravel, pebbles, nor the shells lying still nor any schools of fish swimming about! What is the cause for that? Bhikkhus, it is because the lake is muddy, stirred and polluted. Even so indeed, Bhikkhus, that a monk's polluted mind should know what is in his own advantage, to others advantage or advantageous for both, or that he should know any supra-human state, or that he should realize the excellence of full Noble knowledge and vision, that condition does not exist. What is the cause for that? Bhikkhus, it is because the mind is unclear, agitated and defiled.

However, Bhikkhus, a man with eyes standing on the bank of a still, crystal clear and clean lake would obviously see both the gravel, the pebbles and the shells lying still as well as the schools of fish darting about! What is the cause for that? Bhikkhus, it is because the lake is still, crystal clear and clean. Likewise, Bhikkhus, that a monk's pure and calm mind should come to know what is to his own advantage, to others advantage and advantageous for both, should come to know directly the various supra-human states, and that he should come to realize the excellence of full Noble knowledge and vision, that condition does indeed exist. What is the cause for that? Bhikkhus, it is because of this undisturbed pure, calm and clear mind.

Just as sandal-wood is the most elastic and flexible variety of wood suitable for any work, in the same way do I know of no other single condition as frequent meditation, that can make any mind quite soft, flexible, compliant, fit and ready for any task. When mind is thus cultivated by frequent meditation, Bhikkhus, it becomes pliant, ready and fit! [10]

I, Bhikkhus, I know of no other single thing so quickly changing as the mind, insofar as finding just one other phenomena changing equally fast, is not easy to find.

Shining bright, Bhikkhus, is this mind, yet it is indeed obstructed by external defilements. Luminous indeed, is that mind, when it is safely released and freed from alien impurities.

   

Saved: 05 April 2010  [url]http://What-Buddha-Said.net/Canon/Sutta/AN/AN.I.8-10.htm[/url] ([url]http://What-Buddha-Said.net/Canon/Sutta/AN/AN.I.8-10.htm[/url])
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on November 27, 2011, 10:13:39 am
Quote
The way leading to the cessation of nutriment is just this Noble Eightfold Path
And what is the way leading to the cessation of suffering? It is just this Noble Eightfold Path
The way leading to the cessation of aging and death is just this Noble Eightfold Path
The way leading to the cessation of birth is just this Noble Eightfold Path
The way leading to the cessation of being is just this Noble Eightfold Path
The way leading to the cessation of clinging is just this Noble Eightfold Path
The way leading to the cessation of craving is just this Noble Eightfold Path
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 the sixfold base is just this Noble Eightfold Path
The way leading to the cessation of mentality-materiality 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 formations is just this Noble Eightfold Path
The way leading to the cessation of ignorance is just this Noble Eightfold Path
The way leading to the cessation of the taints is just this Noble Eightfold Path

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.009.ntbb.html[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.009.ntbb.html[/url])




This passage is clearly referring to Pari-nibbana, not nibbana. 
Nibbana ( the point of enlightenment ) clearly not does not involve the cessation of birth, aging and death, feeling, contact, sixfold base, mentality-materiality and consciousness. 
If you're still in any doubt please re-read MN9 and see how these nidanas are described.

CP


I am not in doubt at all and I have not been in doubt while communicating with you about this although you have been unable to understand my verbalizations.

So you are again taking refuge to your own conclusions.
Having been asked whether these conclusions are made in the sphere of ignorance or in the sphere of enlightenment you did not answer but said that these are made on the basis of the suttas which however does not change the fact that these are your own conclusions.



So shall I take your statement to mean that you seek agreement that liberation from dukkha can only happen upon dying?



Kind regards
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on November 27, 2011, 12:01:24 pm
CP:  Instead of "nidana" could you mean "nindana"?

from the Pali text society:

Quote
1. Nindana : (page 359)
to blame, find fault with, censure A ii.3; v.171, 174; Sn 658; J vi.63; Dh 227; inf. nindituŋ Dh 230; grd. nindanīya SnA 477. pp. nindita (q. v.); cp. also nindiya.
Nindana
Nindana (nt.) [abstr. fr. nindati] blaming, reviling, finding fault DhA iii.328.

Nindā
Nindā (f.) [cp. Sk. nindā, to nindati] blame, reproach, fault-- finding, fault, disgrace

Looked for "nidana" in several sources and couldn't find it.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on November 28, 2011, 07:25:21 am
CP:  Instead of "nidana" could you mean "nindana"?
Looked for "nidana" in several sources and couldn't find it.

From Wiki: the 12 nidanas are the 12 links of DO:

"Nidana is a Sanskrit word (from ni = down, into + the verbal root da = to bind). It means 'chain of causation,' and is attributed to Shakyamuni Buddha. It has two specific meanings within Buddhism. The more common use refers to the Twelve nidanas or "a concatenation of cause and effect",[1] which is the cycle of rebirth as described by Gautama upon which a re-becoming is thought by Buddhists to rest, which is also called the twelve links of 'dependent origination'."
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on November 28, 2011, 07:37:28 am
So shall I take your statement to mean that you seek agreement that liberation from dukkha can only happen upon dying?


That's what DO says.  "Total unbinding", liberation from samsara, occurs at Pari-nibbana.  We've discussed previously here whether a Buddha still experiences dukkha in terms of physical pain and disease, given that the suttas clearly include these experiences in descriptions of dukkha - we didn't reach a definitive conclusion.

Are you still asserting that DO ceases completely at the point of enlightenment, ie Nibbana?  If so, perhaps you could explain how the Buddha managed to continue as a human being without the benefit of senses, consciousness, contact with his environment, perception, feeling, etc etc.  And why the Buddha was still subject to pain, disease, aging and death if as you claim all these factors of DO had completely ceased.

CP
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on November 28, 2011, 07:43:26 am
And how would you explain this sentence?

Quote
71. "When a noble disciple has thus understood the taints, the origin of the taints, the cessation of the taints, and the way leading to the cessation of the taints, he entirely abandons the underlying tendency to lust, he abolishes the underlying tendency to aversion, he extirpates the underlying tendency to the view and conceit 'I am,' and by abandoning ignorance and arousing true knowledge he here and now makes an end of suffering. In that way too a noble disciple is one of right view, whose view is straight, who has perfect confidence in the Dhamma and has arrived at this true Dhamma."

"Here and now an end to suffering" refers to Nibbana, which is synonymous with the cessation of the taints.

CP
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on November 28, 2011, 07:46:03 am
Are you still asserting that DO ceases completely at the point of enlightenment, ie Nibbana? 
Yes.

If so, perhaps you could explain ...
No I will abstain from trying to explain to you knowing that words and terminologies are no appropriate means.


Kind regards
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on November 28, 2011, 07:48:56 am
Are you still asserting that DO ceases completely at the point of enlightenment, ie Nibbana? 
Yes.

If so, perhaps you could explain ...
No I will abstain from trying to explain to you knowing that words and terminologies are no appropriate means.


Kind regards

We have no alternative but to use words and terminologies.  Are you saying you can't explain your assertion?

CP
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on November 28, 2011, 07:51:47 am
Are you still asserting that DO ceases completely at the point of enlightenment, ie Nibbana? 
Yes.

If so, perhaps you could explain ...
No I will abstain from trying to explain to you knowing that words and terminologies are no appropriate means.


Kind regards

We have no alternative but to use words and terminologies.  Are you saying you can't explain your assertion?

CP

I am saying that I can't explain to you the meaning of what I am asserting using terms and terminologies.

Kind regards
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on November 28, 2011, 07:52:54 am
....here now and still "alive" but in a manner of deathlessness, without an "I" what should die?

Physical body, the 6-fold sense base, consciousness, feeling, perception, formations,  etc.

CP
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 28, 2011, 03:29:10 pm
Quote
...And why the Buddha was still subject to pain, disease, aging and death if as you claim all these factors of DO had completely ceased.

CP Gumby

Who is subject? *smile* (aside your believing in an "i" , "you", "he")
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ABC on November 28, 2011, 06:32:48 pm
We've discussed previously here whether a Buddha still experiences dukkha in terms of physical pain and disease, given that the suttas clearly include these experiences in descriptions of dukkha - we didn't reach a definitive conclusion.

It is important to comprehend words

'Dukkha' is used in different ways

'Dukkha' certainly means physical pain in Pali but this kind of 'dukkha' is not the 'dukkha' to be quenched

Nirvana is defined as the end of greed, hatred & delusion (rather than the end of physical pain or painful feeling)

This is abundantly clear in so many suttas

Keep studying until reading clearly

 :pray:
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ABC on November 28, 2011, 06:35:23 pm
Who is subject? *smile* (aside your believing in an "i" , "you", "he")

what is this quibbling about?

the suttas clearly report the set of five aggregates conventionally named "The Buddha" experienced sickness & physical pain

with metta

 :pray:

Quote
28. But when the Blessed One had entered upon the rainy season, there arose in him a severe illness, and sharp and deadly pains came upon him. And the Blessed One endured them mindfully, clearly comprehending and unperturbed.

Maha-parinibbana Sutta: Last Days of the Buddha
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 28, 2011, 06:37:12 pm
We've discussed previously here whether a Buddha still experiences dukkha in terms of physical pain and disease, given that the suttas clearly include these experiences in descriptions of dukkha - we didn't reach a definitive conclusion.

It is important to comprehend words

'Dukkha' is used in different ways

'Dukkha' certainly means physical pain in Pali but this kind of 'dukkha' is not the 'dukkha' to be quenched

Nirvana is defined as the end of greed, hatred & delusion (rather than the end of physical pain or painful feeling)

This is abundantly clear in so many suttas

Keep studying until reading clearly

 :pray:
How did you come to this idea? Who should feel? *smile*

Or let me ask, what is the cause of greed, hatred & delusion? What is uprooted that this do no more "exists"?
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 28, 2011, 06:41:40 pm
Who is subject? *smile* (aside your believing in an "i" , "you", "he")

what is this quibbling about?

the suttas clearly report the set of five aggregates conventionally named "The Buddha" experienced sickness & physical pain

with metta

 :pray:

Quote
28. But when the Blessed One had entered upon the rainy season, there arose in him a severe illness, and sharp and deadly pains came upon him. And the Blessed One endured them mindfully, clearly comprehending and unperturbed.

Maha-parinibbana Sutta: Last Days of the Buddha
That is the view of somebody not free of "I", "he", "him" believe. Maybe in this regard it is usefull to think on the sutta where Buddha explained, why he uses "I" if it does no more "exist". *smile*

Having still a believe an attachment to a person a being a soul... this discussion would lead for eons. Lossing this idea of a being, a person, an "I", a he we can finish this discussion right now in this moment *smile*
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ABC on November 28, 2011, 06:42:20 pm
How did you come to this idea? Who should feel? *smile*

enough of this smiling

the nervous system feels pain. the body-mind feel pain

enough of playing games with the Buddha-Dhamma

 :buddha:

Quote
Dependent on the eye & forms there arises consciousness at the eye. The meeting of the three is contact. With contact as a requisite condition, there arises what is felt either as pleasure, pain, or neither pleasure nor pain.

If, when touched by a feeling of pleasure, one does not relish it, welcome it, or remain fastened to it, then one's passion-obsession doesn't get obsessed.

If, when touched by a feeling of pain, one does not sorrow, grieve, or lament, beat one's breast or become distraught, then one's resistance obsession doesn't get obsessed.

If, when touched by a feeling of neither pleasure nor pain, one discerns, as it actually is present, the origination, passing away, allure, drawback, & escape from that feeling, then one's ignorance-obsession doesn't get obsessed.

That a person — through abandoning passion-obsession with regard to a feeling of pleasure, through abolishing resistance-obsession with regard to a feeling of pain, through uprooting ignorance-obsession with regard to a feeling of neither pleasure nor pain, through abandoning ignorance and giving rise to clear knowing — would put an end to suffering & stress in the here & now: such a thing is possible.

MN 148
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ABC on November 28, 2011, 06:45:43 pm
How did you come to this idea? Who should feel? *smile*


the Buddha said your mode of questioning is irrelevent

 :buddha:


Quote
Who, O Lord, feels?"
 
"The question is not correct," said the Exalted One. "I do not say that 'he feels.' Had I said so, then the question 'Who feels?' would be appropriate. But since I did not speak thus, the correct way to ask the question will be 'What is the condition of feeling?' And to that the correct reply is: 'sense-impression is the condition of feeling; and feeling is the condition of craving.'"

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.012.nypo.html[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.012.nypo.html[/url])
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 28, 2011, 06:49:14 pm
How did you come to this idea? Who should feel? *smile*

enough of this smiling

the nervous system feels pain. the body-mind feel pain

enough of playing games with the Buddha-Dhamma

 :buddha:

Quote
Dependent on the eye & forms there arises consciousness at the eye. The meeting of the three is contact. With contact as a requisite condition, there arises what is felt either as pleasure, pain, or neither pleasure nor pain.

If, when touched by a feeling of pleasure, one does not relish it, welcome it, or remain fastened to it, then one's passion-obsession doesn't get obsessed.

If, when touched by a feeling of pain, one does not sorrow, grieve, or lament, beat one's breast or become distraught, then one's resistance obsession doesn't get obsessed.

If, when touched by a feeling of neither pleasure nor pain, one discerns, as it actually is present, the origination, passing away, allure, drawback, & escape from that feeling, then one's ignorance-obsession doesn't get obsessed.

That a person — through abandoning passion-obsession with regard to a feeling of pleasure, through abolishing resistance-obsession with regard to a feeling of pain, through uprooting ignorance-obsession with regard to a feeling of neither pleasure nor pain, through abandoning ignorance and giving rise to clear knowing — would put an end to suffering & stress in the here & now: such a thing is possible.

MN 148

So the nerves are called mentioned as "I" (Buddha or an liberated one)? *smile* Well than this argument is OK.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ABC on November 28, 2011, 06:49:24 pm

Quote
28. But when the Blessed One had entered upon the rainy season, there arose in him a severe illness, and sharp and deadly pains came upon him. And the Blessed One endured them mindfully, clearly comprehending and unperturbed.

Maha-parinibbana Sutta: Last Days of the Buddha

Maybe in this regard it is usefull to think on the sutta where Buddha explained, why he uses "I" if it does no more "exist".

Having still a believe an attachment to a person a being a soul... this discussion would lead for eons. Lossing this idea of a being, a person, an "I", a he we can finish this discussion right now in this moment *smile*

the sutta quoted states the Buddha felt pain

but his mind was free from "I" and "mine" in relation to that pain

this is Nibbana

 :om:
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 28, 2011, 06:51:31 pm
So how feels beside somebody who has not reached Nibbana? (http://www.freesangha.com/forums/general-buddhism-discussion/what-is-nirvana/msg46024/#msg46024) *smile*
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ABC on November 28, 2011, 07:04:37 pm
So the nerves are called mentioned as "I" (Buddha or an liberated one)? *smile* Well than this argument is OK.

the nerves are nerves...they are not an "I"

the Heart Sutra states form is emptiness, emptiness is form and the other four aggregates are also emptiness

the nerves are empty of "I" and "mine"

the nerves are just nerves feeling pain; there is no "I" that feels; only feeling feels

your mode of questioning was rebuked by the Buddha in the Phagguna Sutta quoted

please stop asking "who"

thanks

 :fu:
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 28, 2011, 07:07:53 pm
So does the Buddha have an idea of "I"? Who is Buddha that he would feel pain? *smile*

And to rebuke has nothing but the reason that you read the Phagguna Sutta in this context. *smile* As the message is also there included of who feels pain. As long there is atta dithi a concept of "I" there is pain, the liberation not reached.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ABC on November 28, 2011, 07:08:12 pm
So how feels beside somebody who has not reached Nibbana? ([url]http://www.freesangha.com/forums/general-buddhism-discussion/what-is-nirvana/msg46024/#msg46024[/url]) *smile*


there is no "somebody" that feels

feeling feels

Quote
And why do you call it 'feeling'? Because it feels, thus it is called 'feeling.' What does it feel? It feels pleasure, it feels pain, it feels neither-pleasure-nor-pain. Because it feels, it is called feeling.

Any feeling whatsoever that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: every feeling is to be seen as it actually is with right discernment as: 'This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.'

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.079.than.html[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.079.than.html[/url])

Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ABC on November 28, 2011, 07:09:44 pm
So does the Buddha have an idea of "I"? Who is Buddha that he would feel pain? *smile*


Buddha does not have an idea of "I"

there is no "who"

your mode of questioning is the chattering of a monkey

 :dharma:

Quote
Who, O Lord, has a sense-impression?"
 
"The question is not correct," said the Exalted One.
 
"I do not say that 'he has a sense-impression.' Had I said so, then the question ' Who has a sense-impression?' would be appropriate. But since I did not speak thus, the correct way to ask the question will be 'What is the condition of sense-impression?' And to that the correct reply is: 'The sixfold sense-base is a condition of sense-impression, and sense-impression is the condition of feeling.'"
 
"Who, O Lord, feels?"
 
"The question is not correct," said the Exalted One. "I do not say that 'he feels.' Had I said so, then the question ' Who feels?' would be appropriate. But since I did not speak thus, the correct way to ask the question will be 'What is the condition of feeling?' And to that the correct reply is: 'sense-impression is the condition of feeling; and feeling is the condition of craving.'"
 
"Who, O Lord, craves?"
 
"The question is not correct," said the Exalted One. "I do not say that 'he craves.' Had I said so, then the question 'Who craves?' would be appropriate. But since I did not speak thus, the correct way to ask the question will be 'What is the condition of craving?' And to that the correct reply is: 'Feeling is the condition of craving, and craving is the condition of clinging.'"
 
"Who, O Lord, clings?"
 
"The question is not correct," said the Exalted One, "I do not say that 'he clings.' Had I said so, then the question 'Who clings?' would be appropriate. But since I did not speak thus, the correct way to ask the question will be 'What is the condition of clinging?' And to that the correct reply is: 'Craving is the condition of clinging; and clinging is the condition of the process of becoming.' Such is the origin of this entire mass of suffering.

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.012.nypo.html[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.012.nypo.html[/url])


Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 28, 2011, 07:28:10 pm
An because there is no who, no "he" no "buddha" (as a person, being or soul) there is no pain. *smile*

Let me try a simile (because you are attached to body as I, or to feeling as I or what ever you try to make a person or being):

There is a big machine, powered by "I" (fuel). If you would understand that the maschine is running because there is fuel ("I") putted in and you stop putting it inside, would the machine run further a while having a big fly wheel in it or would it suddenly stop or even disapear?
In the same way a liberated being does not disapear, does still have the same appearance like others, a ball bearing breaks, it rusting it even could be used to cut some wood but their is no more "I" in it and with that situation, the process simply runs out. How fast and it which kind is up to its nature. *smile*

The fuel that has caused pain and effected pain is no more part of it and therefore the process is out of any additional harm and decays.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ABC on November 28, 2011, 07:30:18 pm
An because there is no who, no "he" no "buddha" (as a person, being or soul) there is no pain. 


this is wrong understanding

the arahant continues to feel pain

Quote
Here a bhikkhu is an arahant, one whose taints are destroyed, the holy life fulfilled, who has done what had to be done, laid down the burden, attained the goal, destroyed the fetters of being, completely released through final knowledge. However, his five sense faculties remain unimpaired, by which he still experiences what is agreeable and disagreeable and feels pleasure and pain. It is the extinction of attachment, hate, and delusion in him that is called the Nibbana-element with residue left.

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/iti/iti.2.042-049x.irel.html#iti-044[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/iti/iti.2.042-049x.irel.html#iti-044[/url])
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ABC on November 28, 2011, 07:35:51 pm
Let me try a simile (because you are attached to body as I, or to feeling as I or what ever you try to make a person or being):

There is a big machine, powered by "I" (fuel). If you would understand that the maschine is running because there is fuel ("I") putted in and you stop putting it inside, would the machine run further a while having a big fly wheel in it or would it suddenly stop or even disapear?

this simile above is utter confusion

no machine is powered by "I"

machines are powered by the fuel of craving

the "I" is simply "becoming", an idea of possessiveness or ownership that attaches itself to craving

for example, when food tastes sweet & delicious, it is not the "I" that powers "sweet" & "delicious"

when the body is hungry and has hunger pains, it is the body that has hunger pains and not the "I"

the Buddha refuted your mode of questioning three times but you still continue

there is no "who" that feels. the condition for feeling is the sense organs, which are conditioned by the mind & body

when the "I" ends, physical hunger and physical pain do not end

 :dharma:
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 28, 2011, 07:38:04 pm
An because there is no who, no "he" no "buddha" (as a person, being or soul) there is no pain. 


this is wrong understanding

the arahant continues to feel pain

Quote
Here a bhikkhu is an arahant, one whose taints are destroyed, the holy life fulfilled, who has done what had to be done, laid down the burden, attained the goal, destroyed the fetters of being, completely released through final knowledge. However, his five sense faculties remain unimpaired, by which he still experiences what is agreeable and disagreeable and feels pleasure and pain. It is the extinction of attachment, hate, and delusion in him that is called the Nibbana-element with residue left.

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/iti/iti.2.042-049x.irel.html#iti-044[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/iti/iti.2.042-049x.irel.html#iti-044[/url])

That is what friend TMingyur had tried to explain. The machine does not suddenly disappear but there is nobody left who would feel pain. Who should feel it once again? The Arahant is just an running down process no need to be attached to it. *smile*
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 28, 2011, 07:41:06 pm
Let me try a simile (because you are attached to body as I, or to feeling as I or what ever you try to make a person or being):

There is a big machine, powered by "I" (fuel). If you would understand that the maschine is running because there is fuel ("I") putted in and you stop putting it inside, would the machine run further a while having a big fly wheel in it or would it suddenly stop or even disapear?

this simile above is utter confusion

no machine is powered by "I"

machines are powered by the fuel of craving

the "I" is simply "becoming", an idea of possessiveness or ownership that attaches itself to craving

for example, when food tastes sweet & delicious, it is not the "I" that powers "sweet" & "delicious"

when the body is hungry and has hunger pains, it is the body that has hunger pains and not the "I"

the Buddha refuted your mode of questioning three times but you still continue

there is no "who" that feels. the condition for feeling is the sense organs, which are conditioned by the mind & body

 :dharma:

Craving is the cause of becoming, "I" is the cause of craving. So what else does the wheel turning on? *smile*

If you like to have the simile more structured (to the DO) you could say craving is the fuel and the man who puts it into the machine is "I".  Even the man stops putting fuel inside, there is still fuel and after it there is still moving. But no more "I" (the man, will, delusion, ignorance and therfore no more harm before and after the process of this maschine)
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ABC on November 28, 2011, 07:43:20 pm
That is what friend TMingyur had tried to explain. The machine does not suddenly disappear but there is nobody left who would feel pain.

the machine continues to feel pain

what stops is believing the machine is a "who"

but your posts continue to say the machine is a "who"

the machine feels pain, just like an engine of a car becomes hot or blocked

but the engine of a car is not a "who", just like the five aggregates are a machine but not a "who"

 :pray:
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ABC on November 28, 2011, 07:46:50 pm
Craving is the cause of becoming, "I" is the cause of craving. So what else does the wheel turning on?

"I" is not the cause of craving

it is the opposite

craving is the cause of "I"

the buddha said:

Who, O Lord, craves?"
 
"The question is not correct," said the Exalted One. "I do not say that 'he craves.' Had I said so, then the question 'Who craves?' would be appropriate. But since I did not speak thus, the correct way to ask the question will be 'What is the condition of craving?' And to that the correct reply is: 'Feeling is the condition of craving


 :r4wheel:
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ABC on November 28, 2011, 07:53:01 pm
If you like to have the simile more structured (to the DO) you could say craving is the fuel and the man who puts it into the machine is "I".  Even the man stops putting fuel inside, there is still fuel and after it there is still moving. But no more "I" (the man, will, delusion, ignorance and therfore no more harm before and after the process of this maschine)

when the body is hungry and the mind craves for food, it is not the "I" that creates the craving for food

craving craves for food

the "I" pops up later with the thought "I am hungry"

when the body is full with food until it is bloated & sick, the mind does not think "I want food"

the "I" is just like a commentator, commentating on the action that comes before it

the "I" pops up at the 9th link

craving is the 8th link

when animals & human beings crave for sex, it is the reproductive instrinct fueling the craving for sex rather than the "I"

when boys first have wet dreams and erotic dreams, it is the build up of sperm & reproductive instincts with puberity causing the erotic and wet dreams. it is not the "I" making the wet dreams and erotic dreams

Buddha said DO is difficult to discern for most

regards

 :buddha:

Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 28, 2011, 07:55:14 pm
That is what friend TMingyur had tried to explain. The machine does not suddenly disappear but there is nobody left who would feel pain.

the machine continues to feel pain

what stops is believing the machine is a "who"

but your posts continue to say the machine is a "who"

the machine feels pain, just like an engine of a car becomes hot or blocked

but the engine of a car is not a "who", just like the five aggregates are a machine but not a "who"

 :pray:

So who feels? The machine? *smile*
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ABC on November 28, 2011, 08:00:15 pm
So who feels? The machine? *smile*


there is no "who"

but there is a machine

there is an "it"

the buddha said:

Quote
when recollecting, 'I was one with such a feeling in the past,' one is recollecting just feeling.

And why do you call it 'feeling'? Because it feels, thus it is called 'feeling.' What does it feel? It feels pleasure, it feels pain, it feels neither-pleasure-nor-pain. Because it feels, it is called feeling.

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.079.than.html[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.079.than.html[/url])


Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 28, 2011, 08:01:21 pm
Quote
when the body is hungry and the mind craves for food, it is not the "I" that creates the craving for food
So the body feels hunger and is able to "craving craves for food"

Quote
the "I" pops up later with the thought "I am hungry"

So body is one and mind is one? *smile*

Quote
when the body is full with food until it is bloated & sick, the mind does not think "I want food"

That is because there is an believe in an "I". The mind thinks? *smile*

Quote
the "I" is just like a commentator, commentating on the action that comes before it

So the "I" can even commentate?

Quote
the "I" pops up at the 9th link

craving is the 8th link
I would not say so, actually it comes from not knowing. Who knows?

Quote
when animals & human beings crave for sex, it is the reproductive instrinct fueling the craving for sex rather than the "I"
So you think there is a parallel DO?

Quote
Buddha said DO is difficult to discern for most
In deed *smile*
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 28, 2011, 08:07:31 pm
So who feels? The machine? *smile*


there is no "who"

but there is a machine

there is an "it"

the buddha said:

Quote
when recollecting, 'I was one with such a feeling in the past,' one is recollecting just feeling.

And why do you call it 'feeling'? Because it feels, thus it is called 'feeling.' What does it feel? It feels pleasure, it feels pain, it feels neither-pleasure-nor-pain. Because it feels, it is called feeling.

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.079.than.html[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.079.than.html[/url])


And I ask you on and on, who feels? A machine does not feel, and it is a machine as long there would be putted fuel in it. When the "owner" has no more interest (better when he disappears) it is just running out according to its nature of the element. Somebody else would say, hey look a machine (not knowing its just an down running process - owner (grasping) less) for fuel could still be inside, still it moves. *smile*
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ABC on November 28, 2011, 08:10:33 pm
So the "I" can even commentate?

no

the mind commentates

but the mind can have delusion and when it commentates under the power of delusion, the "I" is born

"commentator" was merely a similie, to give the description of a "commentator" or "spectator" of the "action"

craving is the action, then the "I" is born from ignorance & delusion making the mind identify with the craving

"I am hungry" instead of "there is hunger"

when the delusive "I" arises to take possession, ownership & identity with the five aggregates, such as hunger, this is "birth"

 :dharma:
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ABC on November 28, 2011, 08:14:31 pm
A machine does not feel

A mechanical machine in a factory does not feel

But the machine composed of the five aggregates does feel

This machine is made up/composed of five aggregates, one of which is feeling (vedana)

A Buddha is such a machine

A Buddha is an enlightenment machine

A Buddha enlightenment machine does not produce "I" but it continues to feel, perceive, think (when necessary), cognise and go to the toilet

 :buddha:
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 28, 2011, 08:41:42 pm
So the "I" can even commentate?

no

the mind commentates

but the mind can have delusion and when it commentates under the power of delusion, the "I" is born

"commentator" was merely a similie, to give the description of a "commentator" or "spectator" of the "action"

craving is the action, then the "I" is born from ignorance & delusion making the mind identify with the craving

"I am hungry" instead of "there is hunger"

when the delusive "I" arises to take possession, ownership & identity with the five aggregates, such as hunger, this is "birth"

 :dharma:
So the mind is the actor the "I"

Before you also said that hunger is something different now you mention hunger as the reason of birth. Do you think that Buddha or a liberated being is still hungry? *smile*
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 28, 2011, 08:43:48 pm
A machine does not feel

A mechanical machine in a factory does not feel

But the machine composed of the five aggregates does feel

This machine is made up/composed of five aggregates, one of which is feeling (vedana)

A Buddha is such a machine

A Buddha is an enlightenment machine

A Buddha enlightenment machine does not produce "I" but it continues to feel, perceive, think (when necessary), cognise and go to the toilet

 :buddha:
What should feel, perceive, think? Who produces "I"? What is necessary? *smile*
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ABC on November 28, 2011, 10:21:21 pm
So the mind is the actor the "I"

no, the mind is not the actor the "I"

delusion is the actor the "I"

 :dharma:
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ABC on November 28, 2011, 10:25:00 pm
Before you also said that hunger is something different now you mention hunger as the reason of birth. Do you think that Buddha or a liberated being is still hungry? *smile*

hunger is not the reason for birth

i said "identifying with" and "taking ownership" of hunger or any other aggregate is "birth"

i trust the body & mind of a Buddha feel hunger pains if they have not eaten food

this is why the monks chant everyday, based on what the Buddha taught:

"with wise reflection i eat this food
to let go of unpleasant feelings [of hunger]
without stirring up new feelings [of pleasure or bloating]

 :dharma:
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ABC on November 28, 2011, 10:31:09 pm
What should feel, perceive, think? Who produces "I"? What is necessary? *smile*


in short, the mind feels, perceives and thinks

in detail, vedana khanda feels, sanna khanda perceives and sankhara khanda thinks

i already quoted the budda on this

delusion or ignorance produces the "I"

please stop chatting for a moment & read the following:

Quote
There is the case where an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard for men of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma — assumes form to be the self. That assumption is a fabrication.

Now what is the cause, what is the origination, what is the birth, what is the coming-into-existence of that fabrication?

To an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person, touched by that which is felt born of contact with ignorance, craving arises. That fabrication [of 'self'] is born of that.

And that fabrication is inconstant, fabricated, dependently co-arisen. That craving... That feeling... That contact... That ignorance is inconstant, fabricated, dependently co-arisen.

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.081.than.html[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.081.than.html[/url])



Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 28, 2011, 10:47:04 pm
Before you also said that hunger is something different now you mention hunger as the reason of birth. Do you think that Buddha or a liberated being is still hungry? *smile*

hunger is not the reason for birth

i said "identifying with" and "taking ownership" of hunger or any other aggregate is "birth"

i trust the body & mind of a Buddha feel hunger pains if they have not eaten food

this is why the monks chant everyday, based on what the Buddha taught:

"with wise reflection i eat this food
to let go of unpleasant feelings [of hunger]
without stirring up new feelings [of pleasure or bloating]

 :dharma:

"hunger is not the reason for birth" are you sure? There a many suttas which use hunger as a synonym for craving. *smile* Where does hunger come from?

"i trust the body & mind of a Buddha feel hunger pains if they have not eaten food" that is because you have still the idea of "i" or Buddha as a person or being.

Quote
"with wise reflection i eat this food
to let go of unpleasant feelings [of hunger]
without stirring up new feelings [of pleasure or bloating]
That is how the Buddha advised to get step by step out of delusion while defile his mind to be able to use it to realizes (observe) the things like they really are. *smile* You can do it also, it's not only helpful for Monks.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 28, 2011, 10:50:09 pm
What should feel, perceive, think? Who produces "I"? What is necessary? *smile*


in short, the mind feels, perceives and thinks

in detail, vedana khanda feels, sanna khanda perceives and sankhara khanda thinks

i already quoted the budda on this

delusion or ignorance produces the "I"

please stop chatting for a moment & read the following:

Quote
There is the case where an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard for men of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma — assumes form to be the self. That assumption is a fabrication.

Now what is the cause, what is the origination, what is the birth, what is the coming-into-existence of that fabrication?

To an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person, touched by that which is felt born of contact with ignorance, craving arises. That fabrication [of 'self'] is born of that.

And that fabrication is inconstant, fabricated, dependently co-arisen. That craving... That feeling... That contact... That ignorance is inconstant, fabricated, dependently co-arisen.

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.081.than.html[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.081.than.html[/url])



"in short, the mind feels, perceives and thinks" So you think the mind is the "I"? This thought of the mind feels you could reflect by once more reading the sutta you have posted. *smile*
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on November 29, 2011, 09:45:50 am

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.081.than.html[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.081.than.html[/url])

[/quote]

"in short, the mind feels, perceives and thinks" So you think the mind is the "I"? This thought of the mind feels you could reflect by once more reading the sutta you have posted. *smile*
[/quote]

Sorry to interject here, good friend, Hanzee'.

My understanding and experience is that "mind" is but a field property of brain.  Consciousnesses are processes produced by entire physical (electro-chemical-biological) neurological system upon contact with exterior forms and events.  Mind does not think, but contains thoughts, feelings, emotions, perceptions, opinions, .....all of which are mental factors of the mental consciousness, which is the integrator of all five other consciousnesses. 

Mind is just another illusion, which dissipates upon death.

Tell me that you have experienced otherwise.  Don't tell me what you read, or quote The Tipitaka.  Tell me what you have experienced "directly", verified and validated for your mundane self.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 29, 2011, 06:04:44 pm
Dear Ron the elder,

I could not find anything what is not conditioned by ideas (believes) so far and nothing what is unconditioned. *smile* What makes you believe that the mind is a matter of brain? What makes you believe that consciousness is a matter of something physical (rupa)? Remember, the mind is also often translated as heart and that has its reason.

Words are ideas, agreements, concepts. There is nothing real inside words. All we can do is to minimize our believes in gaining faith (out of understanding) wile observing by or self "this is not" and continue the observing.
Suttas are fine to get some support in "OK" and gain more trust in observing by one self or sometimes a push to look once more. How it really is, we will not find in the suttas if we could understand reality by reading suttas, gaining liberation would be very easy. Consciousness is conditioned by moha and moha by consciousness in return and nothing else, the truth is beyond. Mind is a tool, a concept we can work with. Self experience (what a world) is the key to insight. As long as I experience a self there no beyond.

We fear to loose our self, we fear to disappear. What would be left if our ideas would have be gone? Out of this we love to take things with us on our journey (endless concepts), thinking maybe we can enjoy our self in emptiness *smile* and even beyond but with our concepts we are not able to cross the exit. Its not easy to let go.

Quote
Carrying a Rock ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/chah/insimpleterms.html[/url])

"Letting go" actually means this: It's as if we're carrying a heavy rock. As we carry it, we feel weighed down but we don't know what to do with it, so we keep on carrying it. As soon as someone tells us to throw it away, we think, "Eh? If I throw it away, I won't have anything left." So we keep on carrying it. We aren't willing to throw it away.

Even if someone tells us, "Come on. Throw it away. It'll be good like this, and you'll benefit like that," we're still not willing to throw it away because we're afraid we won't have anything left. So we keep on carrying it until we're so thoroughly weak and tired that we can't carry it anymore. That's when we let it go.

Only when we let it go do we understand letting go. We feel at ease. And we can sense within ourselves how heavy it felt to carry the rock. But while we were carrying it, we didn't know at all how useful letting go could be.


*smile*
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on November 29, 2011, 07:06:56 pm
Quote
Hanzze:  What makes you believe that the mind is a matter of brain?

Buddha's principal of Dependent Origination explains that all physical and mental phenomena are conditioned by and dependent upon causes.  Mind is but a container of consciousnesses.  Consciousnesses are dependent upon physical forms, bio-physical forms in the case of the mental consciousness, and sensory consciousnesses.  The neurological wiring can and has been traced to the brain and the neurological systems of the body. 

When the hearing organs of the inner ear are cut off/excised we can no longer hear.
When the tongue is cut out/excised we can no longer taste.
When the eyes are plucked out/excised we can no longer see.
When the spine is removed we can no longer feel what the fingers, toes, nor all of the skin is touching.
And, when the brain is removed we can no longer think, feel, consider, remember, imagine, develop opinions, speak, touch, smell, taste, nor even continue to breathe.

It is not a matter of belief.  It is a well demonstrated medical fact.

If you think otherwise, have someone cut off your head, and then write me back.

_/\_Ron
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 29, 2011, 08:14:09 pm
I thought this might be useful:

Quote
When one's knowledge is truly one's own

[Kaccayana:] "Lord, 'Right view, right view,' it is said. To what extent is there right view?"

[The Buddha:] "By & large, Kaccayana, this world is supported by (takes as its object) a polarity, that of existence & non-existence. But when one sees the origination of the world as it actually is with right discernment, 'non-existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one. When one sees the cessation of the world as it actually is with right discernment, 'existence' with reference to the world does not occur to one.

"By & large, Kaccayana, this world is in bondage to attachments, clingings (sustenances), & biases. But one such as this does not get involved with or cling to these attachments, clingings, fixations of awareness, biases, or obsessions; nor is he resolved on 'my self.' He has no uncertainty or doubt that, when there is arising, only stress is arising; and that when there is passing away, only stress is passing away. In this, one's knowledge is independent of others. It is to this extent, Kaccayana, that there is right view."

— SN 12.15

As Samsara has no end with cut of the head but stays

Quote
A thicket of wrong views

"There is the case where an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person... does not discern what ideas are fit for attention, or what ideas are unfit for attention. This being so, he does not attend to ideas fit for attention, and attends instead to ideas unfit for attention... This is how he attends inappropriately: 'Was I in the past? Was I not in the past? What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been what, what was I in the past? Shall I be in the future? Shall I not be in the future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the future? Having been what, what shall I be in the future?' Or else he is inwardly perplexed about the immediate present: 'Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where is it bound?'

"As he attends inappropriately in this way, one of six kinds of view arises in him: The view I have a self arises in him as true & established, or the view I have no self... or the view It is precisely by means of self that I perceive self... or the view It is precisely by means of self that I perceive not-self... or the view It is precisely by means of not-self that I perceive self arises in him as true & established, or else he has a view like this: This very self of mine — the knower that is sensitive here & there to the ripening of good & bad actions — is the self of mine that is constant, everlasting, eternal, not subject to change, and will endure as long as eternity. This is called a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. Bound by a fetter of views, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is not freed from birth, aging, & death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair. He is not freed, I tell you, from suffering & stress.

"The well-instructed disciple of the noble ones... discerns what ideas are fit for attention, and what ideas are unfit for attention. This being so, he does not attend to ideas unfit for attention, and attends [instead] to ideas fit for attention... He attends appropriately, This is stress... This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress... This is the way leading to the cessation of stress. As he attends appropriately in this way, three fetters are abandoned in him: identity-view, doubt, and grasping at precepts & practices."

— MN 2

*smile*


The ear is not "I"
The tongue is not "I"
The eye is not "I"
The spine is not "I"
The mind is not "I"
The brain is not "I"

If one believes in such things he might think that suicide or cutting of is the solution of getting ride of the "I" and in such a case ones knowledge is not his own. *smile*

It seems to be attractive to explain Dhamma on a modern scientific level (actually it is useful to get interest) but Dhamma goes beyond and one needs to but intellectuality aside to penetrate the meaning and get not constantly lost in self or not-self.

Just for support trust in Dharma, before I turned away one of my occupation was civil engineer. Believe me (or better don't believe me *smile*), there is nothing which can be not created as there is nothing what will not be destructed. Both things are not the way. Just observe without preconceptions as it really is, hit them and cut them away (by giving them no attention) as soon as you see them. Just let go and

Be mindful!
*smile*
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on November 29, 2011, 09:11:06 pm
Hanzze', I strongly suspect you cheated and wrote your last post with your head firmly attached to your neck! :wink1:

Yes?  or No?

Note:  Only answer my last question if you have cut off your head, are holding your head in your hands, and it is no longer attached to your neck.  Otherwise, don't even bother to respond, because no matter what you say will be considered hypochrisy and adharma. (Not the truth.)  Sorry, my friend.

P.S.:  I am glad you didn't cut off your head to prove a point. :hug:

Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 29, 2011, 09:41:31 pm
(http://www.loupiote.com/photos_m/3140181277-cow-head-severed.jpg)

Tell, where is the cow? Tell who actually feels right now, spontaneous. Who is the cow, right now in this moment when the feelings out of wrong thoughts arise? *smile*
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime on November 29, 2011, 09:52:53 pm
Just to clarify,

- "Conditionality" says that when this arises, that arises - hence things are dependent on things before them.  Conditionality forms the basis of each link of Dependent Origination.
- "Dependent Origination" is the 12 links of how suffering arises from ignorance.

Buddha's principal of Dependent Origination explains that all physical and mental phenomena are conditioned by and dependent upon causes.  Mind is but a container of consciousnesses.  Consciousnesses are dependent upon physical forms, bio-physical forms in the case of the mental consciousness, and sensory consciousnesses. 

Dependent Origination actually says the opposite:

Avijja paccaya sankhara, sankhara paccaya vinnana, vinnana paccaya nama-rupa, nama-rupa paccaya salyatana

In other words:  Ignorance conditions karmic formations, karmic formations condition consciousness, consciousness conditions the name and form (i.e., mind and body or the 5 Khandas/Skandhas), Name and form condition the 6 sense bases.

So as can be seen, the Buddha actually said that what we usually take to be "me" or the "self" - the mind (the 4 skandhas of feelings, thinking, formation and consciousness) and body - is dependent on consciousness being present first - not the other way around.  So either we need to do more investigating or the Buddha was wrong on this one.

However, as I said, the mind and consciousness in different contexts means different things.  Here, we're talking about the little mind - the functions of the brain - the 6th sense organ which does the functions of the 4 mental Skandhas (feeling, the thinking, has mental formations and consciousness).  The citta on the other hand is a totally different mind that is not dependent upon anything - it is an unsupported consciousness - it doesn't need to rely on anything.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 29, 2011, 10:17:33 pm
Quote
"The citta on the other hand is a totally different mind that is not dependent upon anything - it is an unsupported consciousness - it doesn't need to rely on anything."
So you found the "I"! *smile* the independent citta! The omnipresent citta!

Well that's why the turn around in Tusika a long time discussing with brahma tiring to explain him Dhamma.

Serious, where beside some forever-teachers did you take the idea from?
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime on November 30, 2011, 02:20:25 am
Hanzze,

Why do you equate the citta with a "self".  I certainly didn't say that.

So you ask me where I got the idea of the citta being the "I" - I don't know where you got that idea from.  YOU are the one who said that the citta was the "I" - so why ask me?! lol
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 30, 2011, 02:50:45 am
Optimus Prime,

so let me ask different: What should a "unsupported consciousness" be beside of an creative idea of an "I"? *smile*
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime on November 30, 2011, 03:37:46 am
When the hearing organs of the inner ear are cut off/excised we can no longer hear.
When the tongue is cut out/excised we can no longer taste.
When the eyes are plucked out/excised we can no longer see.
When the spine is removed we can no longer feel what the fingers, toes, nor all of the skin is touching.
And, when the brain is removed we can no longer think, feel, consider, remember, imagine, develop opinions, speak, touch, smell, taste, nor even continue to breathe.

You bring up an interesting point, Bodhisatta, that is worthy of discussion in relation to Nirvana.

Remember, the most common use of consciousness, vinnana, involves 3 things:
1.  Sense organ/base - eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and brain
2.  Sense object - sights, sounds, smells, tastes, touch and thoughts
3.  Sense consciousness arises when these 2 interact. 

Now, as you mentioned, this type of consciousness is dependent upon the first 2 things contacting and interacting with each other:
1.  A functioning sense organ.  Damage any of these sense organs and sense consciousness no longer arises.
2.  A sense object available.  For example, the skin needs an object to touch it before the sensation of touch occurs.  The nose needs odours in the air to contact it before smell occurs.  The ear needs air vibrations to touch the ear drum before the sound is heard.

If either the sense organ is damaged/defecting/non-functioning OR if there is no sense object present => then sense consciousness doesn't arise.  So this type of consciousness arises and ceases dependent upon those 2 things.  Vibrations hit the ear - sound is heard.  Vibrations stop, sound is not heard - so this is when sense consciousness ceases.

HOWEVER, this does not mean that consciousness has totally ceased.  Nor does it mean that consciousness has ceased whilst there is no sense object either.

Consider this:

-  We ring a bell.  We hear a sound.  So do we hear?  Yes.
-  The bell stops.  We hear no sound.  So we say that we don't hear anything - but this is not entirely true.

Do we still hear when there is no sound?  Yes.
How so?  We actually hear the silence.  So the next time you hear a monastery bell ringing - it's actually a really useful tool to help you get glimpses of the unconditioned.  You hear the bell sound and then you follow that sound intently, noticing the vibrations


Let's take the example of sight:
-  Turn the light on.  We see all sorts of objects in our vision.  So do we see?  Yes.
-  Turn all the lights off, so that it's pitch black.  We say, "I don't see anything!" but this is not entirely true - because we still see the darkness.

Take the example of thinking - easily observable whilst you meditate upon this:
-  Think a thought.  The thought arises.  Are we conscious?  Yes.
-  Now watch the space between... thoughts... and........ you... will........ see... initially a blank space - an empty space between thoughts.  However, the very fact that you are "aware" that there is a space when you are not thinking means that even when you are not thinking - awareness is still present.

So notice, in each of these cases, unlike sense consciousness which is dependent upon an object to be sensed, this type of consciousness is independent of whether there is a sense object present or not.  Because here, we are talking about the essence of consciousness, the nature of consciousness - not a consciousness dependent upon sense organs or sense objects.

When a sense organ is destroyed, the nature of the consciousness involved is actually not destroyed with it.  For example, if someone has their arm chopped off, then obviously they can't feel anything with that arm anymore.  However, if they get a transplant, then if successful, feeling comes back.  But the actual essence of the feeling didn't go anywhere whilst the arm was chopped off - it just couldn't manifest itself whilst the sense organ wasn't functioning.  Replace it with a functioning arm and it manifests itself once again.

Same with the hearing.  If there's a noise, we hear a sound.  If there's no noise, we hear no sound.  But the presence or absence of the sound actually makes it "seem" like our hearing nature appears and disappears.  But actually, it is functioning there all along, even when there is silence.

With thoughts, people say, "I think, therefore I am" but you can see directly that even when you are not thinking - you certainly don't disintegrate into nothingness.  "That which is aware" of the thoughts is still present - this is very important to notice and to use as a basis in meditation.

So those are a few things I am offering up for contemplation.  What I am pointing to is an ever-present, unmoving, unchanging awareness - a still point, an eternally still space that we can notice - and turn to during our meditation - anytime, anyplace - we can always open up to it and turn to it, rest in it, awake, aware and free from delusion.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 30, 2011, 03:51:15 am
Quote
What I am pointing to is an ever-present, unmoving, unchanging awareness - a still point, an eternally still space that we can notice - and turn to during our meditation - anytime, anyplace - we can always open up to it and turn to it, rest in it, awake, aware and free from delusion.

What are you taking about I guess its not nirvana but a good place to observe if somebody is not attached to the joy coming with it. But yes, there are some realms (as I heard/read) where we think that we are already there - but that is something different to free of delusion.

Was that what you told of "unsupported consciousness"? Well I think it's still supported by latent moha. *smile*
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime on November 30, 2011, 03:58:10 am
Optimus Prime,

so let me ask different: What should a "unsupported consciousness" be beside of an creative idea of an "I"? *smile*

Once again, YOU are the one who said that "unsupported consciousness" was the "I".  It's not my job to defend ideas that you made up.  It's YOU who have to defend your own opinion if you keep insisting that that's the case.

And where is this self in pure awareness anyway?  I can't find a "you" or a "me" in pure awareness.  I can't find anything that belongs to "me" in pure awareness either -  I can find nothing that is "me" or "mine" in pure awareness.  I can't find an "I" in pure awareness.

As I said, I certainly never said that "unsupported consciousness" was the "I".  It's YOU who keep insisting that this is so - but once again, it's not my job to defend something that you made up!  *smile*
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 30, 2011, 04:03:17 am
So let me ask different: where did you got the idea of "pure awareness" as something unsupported from? Where dis you got the idea of "unsupported consciousness" from? *smile*

Maybe:

Quote
Partial-Eternalism (Ekaccasassatavāda): Views 5–8 ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.01.0.bodh.html[/url])

38. "There are, bhikkhus, some recluses and brahmins who are eternalists in regard to some things and non-eternalists in regard to other things, and who on four grounds proclaim the self and the world to be partly eternal and partly non-eternal. And owing to what, with reference to what, do these honorable recluses and brahmins proclaim their views?

39. "There comes a time, bhikkhus, when after the lapse of a long period this world contracts (disintegrates). While the world is contracting, beings for the most part are reborn in the Ābhassara Brahma-world.[7] There they dwell, mind-made, feeding on rapture, self-luminous, moving through the air, abiding in glory. And they continue thus for a long, long period of time.

40. "But sooner or later, bhikkhus, after the lapse of a long period, there comes a time when this world begins to expand once again. While the world is expanding, an empty palace of Brahmā appears. Then a certain being, due to the exhaustion of his life-span or the exhaustion of his merit, passes away from the Ābhassara plane and re-arises in the empty palace of Brahmā. There he dwells, mind made, feeding on rapture, self-luminous, moving through the air, abiding in glory. And he continues thus for a long, long period of time.

41. "Then, as a result of dwelling there all alone for so long a time, there arises in him dissatisfaction and agitation, (and he yearns): 'Oh, that other beings might come to this place!' Just at that moment, due to the exhaustion of their life-span or the exhaustion of their merit, certain other beings pass away from the Ābhassara plane and re-arise in the palace of Brahmā, in companionship with him. There they dwell, mind-made, feeding on rapture, self-luminous, moving through the air, abiding in glory. And they continue thus for a long, long period of time.


... there are some other cases of Partial-Eternalism

or maybe this?

Quote
"This, bhikkhus, is the third case.

49. "In the fourth case, owing to what, with reference to what, are some honorable recluses and brahmins eternalists in regard to some things and non-eternalists in regard to other things, proclaiming the self and the world to be partly eternal and partly non-eternal?

"Herein, bhikkhus, recluse or a certain brahmin is a rationalist, an investigator. He declares his view — hammered out by reason, deduced from his investigations, following his own flight of thought — thus: 'That which is called "the eye," "the ear," "the nose," "the tongue," and "the body" — that self is impermanent, unstable, non-eternal, subject to change. But that which is called "mind" (citta) or "mentality" (mano) or "consciousness" (viññāṇa) — that self is permanent, stable, eternal, not subject to change, and it will remain the same just like eternity itself.'


*smile*
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime on November 30, 2011, 04:11:10 am
So let me ask different: where did you got the idea of "pure awareness" as something unsupported from? Where dis you got the idea of "unsupported consciousness" from? *smile*

Since you are so well versed in the Dharma, Hanzze, since you know your Dharma so very well, are you saying that the Buddha never taught about unsupported consciousness, that the Buddha never taught about the citta?
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 30, 2011, 04:35:00 am
So let me ask different: where did you got the idea of "pure awareness" as something unsupported from? Where dis you got the idea of "unsupported consciousness" from? *smile*

Since you are so well versed in the Dharma, Hanzze, since you know your Dharma so very well, are you saying that the Buddha never taught about unsupported consciousness, that the Buddha never taught about the citta?

Ohh for sure I am not well versed, I just had the bliss to use googleyana for some times to be able to argue among the real scholars a little and have gained some faith of what is not.

I guess I came across such unsupported consciousness, but i am not sure if it was something out of the pali canon. I guess it's a alternative idea which can be called "Partial-Eternalism"

Or maybe you refer to such text passages:

"Consciousness without surface, without end, luminous all around, does not partake of the solidity of earth, the liquidity of water, the radiance of fire, the windiness of wind, the divinity of devas [and so on through a list of the various levels of godhood to] the allness of the All."

— MN 49


I guess they are very tricky.

It's highly visible that you practice and study earnest, do have honorable conduct and speech and a great gift of eloquence, so I am sure you will support us very well to a good solution that will not mislead us, neither to Eternalism nor to Annihilationism in all its endless "I" or "not-I" supported forms. *smile*

Please don't feel to much personal touched with my unskillful side posts, just take them when they are useful. That might be less or even no time.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime on November 30, 2011, 05:52:14 am
Thank you Hanzze for finally showing earnestness to learn what the Buddha actually taught.

Unsupported consciousness is actually taught by the Buddha in numerous places in both the Theravadan AND Mahayanan Sutras.  There is actually a whole chapter in the book, "The Island" by Ajahn Passano and Ajahn Amaro on this very topic.

It basically means to find that which is not dependent upon anything within you.  Why?  Because if you are dependent upon anything, then if that thing that you are dependent upon fails, then you too will fail (because you're the next link up) and therefore suffer.  But if you can find something within your heart that does not depend upon anything, does not rely upon anything, then it will have no weakness - it will be free.

Remember, the 6th Patriarch was enlightened upon hearing the verse:

8.29) “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’

So we too should develop "A heart which dwells nowhere", we too should investigate to find the "mind which rests on nothing".


In the Pali Canon, the Buddha advises his son, Rahula to do the following:

8.26) Rahula, develop meditation that is like space; for when
you develop meditation that is like space, arisen agreeable and
disagreeable contacts will not invade your mind and remain. Just
as space is not established anywhere, so too, Rahula, develop
meditation that is like space for when you develop meditation
that is like space, arisen agreeable and disagreeable contacts will
not invade your mind and remain.
~ M 62.17, (Bhikkhu Bodhi & Bhikkhu Ñanamoli trans.)

Hence why the Buddha likened Nirvana to emptiness.  Emptiness is not supported by anything.  It is not dependent on anything.  What is empty space dependent upon?  Empty space can't even said to be created because ultimately, it's nothing.  It does not arise, it does not cease.  It is not born, it does not die.  It does not move.  Hence why the Buddha said that it is not established anywhere.  For these reasons, it is likened to the not-born, not-created, not-arisen - Nirvana.

Further, location doesn't even apply to it because it has no physical dimensions.  Hence why you have people posing questions to the Buddha asking "What happens to enlightened beings when they die?  Where do they go?"  The Buddha replied, if a fire goes out, does it go north, south, east or west?  The answer is that the question does not apply because the fire doesn't actually go anywhere - in other words, questions regarding form/rupa or locality do not apply.  However, even though empty space can't be said to be anywhere, it's not that it's not there either.  So Nirvana is like this.

So with an enlightened being who has entered Nirvana, you can't really ask "Where did they go when they died?" because questions of location do not apply to that realm (in the same way that you can't say "Where is empty space?" - because it isn't any "where") - they can't said to be any "where", they can't said to be at any "location".  But you can't say that they're not around either.  Things like location, distance, movement only apply to the rupa skandha (i.e., forms and material things).  You can't even ask where are the other 4 mental skandhas of feelings, formations, cognition and consciousness - as location doesn't apply to them either - how much the less can you ask where Nirvana is.  Nirvana is beyond the realm of all of these 5 Skandhas.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 30, 2011, 06:01:05 am
That is why I said it is tricky *smile* I guess many misunderstand tools with the aim.

Quote
it will be free
What? Yours, mine, ours the all-embracing?

I guess its always important what the Buddha taught and that was the way out of suffering but not the destiny as for somebody attached to a destiny he would not arrive. It's simply beyond, neither supported nor non-supported. No need to give the destiny a thought but to remember what is not (as for it there can be saddha - faith out of understanding and all others is subject of believe) and simply let go.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on November 30, 2011, 06:09:39 am
Quote
Optimus Prime:  With thoughts, people say, "I think, therefore I am" but you can see directly that even when you are not thinking - you certainly don't disintegrate into nothingness.  "That which is aware" of the thoughts is still present - this is very important to notice and to use as a basis in meditation.

So those are a few things I am offering up for contemplation.  What I am pointing to is an ever-present, unmoving, unchanging awareness - a still point, an eternally still space that we can notice - and turn to during our meditation - anytime, anyplace - we can always open up to it and turn to it, rest in it, awake, aware and free from delusion.


Right!  We are generally in agreement, and you make no claims as to not cheating by retaining your head firmly attached to your neck.   :wink1:

There has been much written in The Suttas and The Suttras regarding so-called infinite consciousness.  Yet, when we put it to a scientific test by removing the head and letting it bleed to death, Hanzze's cow for example, the being ceases to move, and ceases to communicate on any level.  It becomes "non-sentient". If we attached the appropriate brain activity monitoring equipment we would find that no activity is going on, but for cooling and clotting.  Parasites supported by the living host would then take over unabated and untenuated.  Scavangers, Carnivores come along and devour fleshy nutrients.  Larger scavangers crush the bones for the marrow at the centers.  After a few hours temperature of blood and fluids would have dropped several degrees.  After a few days, then weeks insects, maggots, bacteria, mold and fungus break down the flesh. Off gassing occurs as the now putrid remnants begin to stink of bacterial metabolic wastes.  Soon only the bones emptied of their marrow and some tough hide and skin remains.

Consciousnesses have long since ceased to function and dissipated. 

".....where or in what direction The Tathagatta has gone!"

Quote
"Of course you're befuddled, Vaccha. Of course you're confused. Deep, Vaccha, is this phenomenon, hard to see, hard to realize, tranquil, refined, beyond the scope of conjecture, subtle, to-be-experienced by the wise. For those with other views, other practices, other satisfactions, other aims, other teachers, it is difficult to know. That being the case, I will now put some questions to you. Answer as you see fit. What do you think, Vaccha: If a fire were burning in front of you, would you know that, 'This fire is burning in front of me'?"

"...yes..."

"And suppose someone were to ask you, Vaccha, 'This fire burning in front of you, dependent on what is it burning?' Thus asked, how would you reply?"

"...I would reply, 'This fire burning in front of me is burning dependent on grass & timber as its sustenance.'"

"If the fire burning in front of you were to go out, would you know that, 'This fire burning in front of me has gone out'?"

"...yes..."

"And suppose someone were to ask you, 'This fire that has gone out in front of you, in which direction from here has it gone? East? West? North? Or south?' Thus asked, how would you reply?"

"That doesn't apply, Master Gotama. Any fire burning dependent on a sustenance of grass and timber, being unnourished — from having consumed that sustenance and not being offered any other — is classified simply as 'out' (unbound)."

"Even so, Vaccha, any physical form by which one describing the Tathagata would describe him: That the Tathagata has abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Freed from the classification of form, Vaccha, the Tathagata is deep, boundless, hard to fathom, like the sea. 'Reappears' doesn't apply. 'Does not reappear' doesn't apply. 'Both does & does not reappear' doesn't apply. 'Neither reappears nor does not reappear' doesn't apply.

"Any feeling... Any perception... Any mental fabrication...

"Any consciousness by which one describing the Tathagata would describe him: That the Tathagata has abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Freed from the classification of consciousness, Vaccha, the Tathagata is deep, boundless, hard to fathom, like the sea. 'Reappears' doesn't apply. 'Does not reappear' doesn't apply. 'Both does & does not reappear' doesn't apply. 'Neither reappears nor does not reappear' doesn't apply."


source:  http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.072.than.html (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.072.than.html)
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 30, 2011, 06:31:53 am
Just came across and thought that one or the other (CP Gumpy you might find also good samples between nibbana and the end parinibbana) like to give it a read:

'Released... with unrestricted awareness.' by Thanissaro Bhikkhu (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/likefire/1.html)

*smile*

This essay works out MN27 form many aspects *smile*

'This fire that has gone out... in which direction from here has it gone?' (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/likefire/2-1.html)
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on November 30, 2011, 06:47:04 am
Just came across and thought that one or the other (CP Gumpy you might find also good samples between nibbana and the end parinibbana) like to give it a read:

'Released... with unrestricted awareness.' by Thanissaro Bhikkhu ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/likefire/1.html[/url])

*smile*


Yes!  This was the exact same discussion I was thinking of when reading Vaccha's discussion with Buddha.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 30, 2011, 07:32:23 am
Quote
Yet, when we put it to a scientific test by removing the head and letting it bleed to death, Hanzze's cow for example, the being ceases to move, and ceases to communicate on any level.  It becomes "non-sentient".

Actually it was thought as a sample who actually suffers and why. The identification, the search for it. As for the cow, there is no cow and I would not say that this process had caused "non-sentient". The idea of this comes maybe from a thought of "gone, over no more existent" which might be the reaction for what you see (still attached that the name and form has any substance) and is just your own suffering (identification). So the two extremes (identification/greed/like and not-identification/hate/dislike) support each other well, change there faces like single-phase alternating current and walk the same lane. The path is the neutral conductor but as soon as we come in contact with the single-phase alternating current we are under current again. So we just try to do not touch the single-phase alternating current which kind of charge it might have and walk on in this way till we have found the neutral disconnect terminal to disconnect the problem by its roots. After that the single-phase alternating current has no more impact even it carries and endless high electric tension.

I guess this is just an useless rephrasing, I'll better take a break.  *bzzzzzzzz* *bzzzzzzzz* *smile*
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on November 30, 2011, 07:46:50 am
Maybe some fuel *smile*

Quote
'Monks, there are these two forms of the nibbāna property. Which two? The nibbāna property with fuel remaining, and the nibbāna property with no fuel remaining.

'And what is the nibbāna property with fuel remaining? There is the case where a monk is an arahant whose effluents have ended, who has attained completion, finished the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, destroyed the fetter of becoming, and is released through right gnosis. His five [sense] faculties still remain and, owing to their being intact, he experiences the pleasing & the displeasing, and is sensitive to pleasure & pain. His ending of passion, aversion, & delusion is termed the nibbāna property with fuel remaining.

'And what is the nibbāna property with no fuel remaining? There is the case where a monk is an arahant... released through right gnosis. For him, all that is sensed, being unrelished, will grow cold right here. This is termed the nibbāna property with no fuel remaining.'

— Iti 44
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 01, 2011, 06:08:02 am
Maybe some fuel *smile*

Quote
'Monks, there are these two forms of the nibbāna property. Which two? The nibbāna property with fuel remaining, and the nibbāna property with no fuel remaining.

'And what is the nibbāna property with fuel remaining? There is the case where a monk is an arahant whose effluents have ended, who has attained completion, finished the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, destroyed the fetter of becoming, and is released through right gnosis. His five [sense] faculties still remain and, owing to their being intact, he experiences the pleasing & the displeasing, and is sensitive to pleasure & pain. His ending of passion, aversion, & delusion is termed the nibbāna property with fuel remaining.

'And what is the nibbāna property with no fuel remaining? There is the case where a monk is an arahant... released through right gnosis. For him, all that is sensed, being unrelished, will grow cold right here. This is termed the nibbāna property with no fuel remaining.'

— Iti 44

So the difference is that in the second case, what is sensed is "unrelished"?   What does that mean though?

CP
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 01, 2011, 06:10:36 am
So from a Theravadan perspective Nibbana, in a nutshell, is the cessation of the taints and the cessation of suffering.

Can anybody say succintly what Nirvana is from a Mahayana perspective?

CP

Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 01, 2011, 06:30:29 am
Just came across and thought that one or the other (CP Gumpy you might find also good samples between nibbana and the end parinibbana) like to give it a read:

'Released... with unrestricted awareness.' by Thanissaro Bhikkhu ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/likefire/1.html[/url])


This extract from the Bahuna Sutta seems particularly relevant:
Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

"Freed, dissociated, & released from ten things, Bahuna, the Tathagata dwells with unrestricted awareness. Which ten? Freed, dissociated, & released from form, the Tathagata dwells with unrestricted awareness. Freed, dissociated, & released from feeling... Freed, dissociated, & released from perception... Freed, dissociated, & released from fabrications... Freed, dissociated, & released from consciousness... Freed, dissociated, & released from birth... Freed, dissociated, & released from aging... Freed, dissociated, & released from death... Freed, dissociated, & released from stress... Freed, dissociated, & released from defilement, the Tathagata dwells with unrestricted awareness."

Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 01, 2011, 06:37:57 am
In other words:  Ignorance conditions karmic formations, karmic formations condition consciousness, consciousness conditions the name and form (i.e., mind and body or the 5 Khandas/Skandhas), Name and form condition the 6 sense bases.

So as can be seen, the Buddha actually said that what we usually take to be "me" or the "self" - the mind (the 4 skandhas of feelings, thinking, formation and consciousness) and body - is dependent on consciousness being present first - not the other way around. 

Though I'm pretty sure that some suttas describe a mutual dependence of consciousness and name-and-form.  Which makes sense because ( unless you believe in ghosts ) they are mutually dependent. :wink1:

CP
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on December 01, 2011, 06:38:33 am
Maybe some fuel *smile*

Quote
'Monks, there are these two forms of the nibbāna property. Which two? The nibbāna property with fuel remaining, and the nibbāna property with no fuel remaining.

'And what is the nibbāna property with fuel remaining? There is the case where a monk is an arahant whose effluents have ended, who has attained completion, finished the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, destroyed the fetter of becoming, and is released through right gnosis. His five [sense] faculties still remain and, owing to their being intact, he experiences the pleasing & the displeasing, and is sensitive to pleasure & pain. His ending of passion, aversion, & delusion is termed the nibbāna property with fuel remaining.

'And what is the nibbāna property with no fuel remaining? There is the case where a monk is an arahant... released through right gnosis. For him, all that is sensed, being unrelished, will grow cold right here. This is termed the nibbāna property with no fuel remaining.'

— Iti 44



So the difference is that in the second case, what is sensed is "unrelished"?   What does that mean though?

CP


In the note of the sutta is told:

Notes

Quote
1, 2.
    With fuel remaining (sa-upadisesa) and with no fuel remaining (anupadisesa): The analogy here is to a fire. In the first case, the flames are out, but the embers are still glowing. In the second, the fire is so thoroughly out that the embers have grown cold. The "fuel" here is the five aggregates (see the Glossary). While the arahant is still alive, he/she still experiences the five aggregates, but they do not burn with the fires of passion, aversion, or delusion. When the arahant passes away, there is no longer any experience of aggregates here or anywhere else. For a discussion of this point, see The Mind Like Fire Unbound ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/likefire/2-1.html#glowingfire[/url]), pp. 21-37.
3.
    Such (tadi): An adjective to describe one who has attained the goal. It indicates that the person's state is undefinable and not subject to change or influence of any sort.

It looks like (but also a little controversy in this note) "fuel" here are mean the five aggregates.

Maybe the sample with a machine before (http://www.freesangha.com/forums/general-buddhism-discussion/what-is-nirvana/msg46432/#msg46432) is useful. Both machines have no more supporter "I" (owner, one who refiles and use it), one might have some fuel left in it and will run for a while another will have no more fuel inside but still the balance wheel will let it move on. *smile*
While one is still burning the fuel till its extinction or the break down of the compounding, the other has no more combustion (as there is no more fuel) at all.
According to the note above it would mean that the machine lacks of spark ignition, while "fuel" could be still inside or not. In this case the separation of two kinds would not make much sense from my view. *smile*
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 01, 2011, 06:44:22 am
Maybe some fuel *smile*

Quote
'Monks, there are these two forms of the nibbāna property. Which two? The nibbāna property with fuel remaining, and the nibbāna property with no fuel remaining.

'And what is the nibbāna property with fuel remaining? There is the case where a monk is an arahant whose effluents have ended, who has attained completion, finished the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, destroyed the fetter of becoming, and is released through right gnosis. His five [sense] faculties still remain and, owing to their being intact, he experiences the pleasing & the displeasing, and is sensitive to pleasure & pain. His ending of passion, aversion, & delusion is termed the nibbāna property with fuel remaining.

'And what is the nibbāna property with no fuel remaining? There is the case where a monk is an arahant... released through right gnosis. For him, all that is sensed, being unrelished, will grow cold right here. This is termed the nibbāna property with no fuel remaining.'

— Iti 44



So the difference is that in the second case, what is sensed is "unrelished"?   What does that mean though?

CP


In the note of the sutta is told:

Notes

Quote
1, 2.
    .....While the arahant is still alive, he/she still experiences the five aggregates, but they do not burn with the fires of passion, aversion, or delusion. When the arahant passes away, there is no longer any experience of aggregates here or anywhere else. For a discussion of this point, see The Mind Like Fire Unbound ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/likefire/2-1.html#glowingfire[/url]), pp. 21-37.


But it looks like the 2 original quotes are both referring to a Buddha who is still alive, in other words the distinction doesn't seem to be about Nibbana v. Pari-nibbana.

CP
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 01, 2011, 06:50:34 am
Remember, the most common use of consciousness, vinnana, involves 3 things:
1.  Sense organ/base - eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and brain
2.  Sense object - sights, sounds, smells, tastes, touch and thoughts
3.  Sense consciousness arises when these 2 interact. 

Strictly speaking it's contact which arises when these 3 interact.  Sense-consciousness doesn't arise in dependence on sense organ and sense object.

CP
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on December 01, 2011, 07:16:04 am
Maybe some fuel *smile*

Quote
'Monks, there are these two forms of the nibbāna property. Which two? The nibbāna property with fuel remaining, and the nibbāna property with no fuel remaining.

'And what is the nibbāna property with fuel remaining? There is the case where a monk is an arahant whose effluents have ended, who has attained completion, finished the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, destroyed the fetter of becoming, and is released through right gnosis. His five [sense] faculties still remain and, owing to their being intact, he experiences the pleasing & the displeasing, and is sensitive to pleasure & pain. His ending of passion, aversion, & delusion is termed the nibbāna property with fuel remaining.

'And what is the nibbāna property with no fuel remaining? There is the case where a monk is an arahant... released through right gnosis. For him, all that is sensed, being unrelished, will grow cold right here. This is termed the nibbāna property with no fuel remaining.'

— Iti 44



So the difference is that in the second case, what is sensed is "unrelished"?   What does that mean though?

CP


In the note of the sutta is told:

Notes

Quote
1, 2.
    .....While the arahant is still alive, he/she still experiences the five aggregates, but they do not burn with the fires of passion, aversion, or delusion. When the arahant passes away, there is no longer any experience of aggregates here or anywhere else. For a discussion of this point, see The Mind Like Fire Unbound ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/likefire/2-1.html#glowingfire[/url]), pp. 21-37.


But it looks like the 2 original quotes are both referring to a Buddha who is still alive, in other words the distinction doesn't seem to be about Nibbana v. Pari-nibbana.

CP

Yes, I also see it like that. So this note can give a lot of confusions. *smile*
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on December 01, 2011, 08:02:16 am
Remember, the most common use of consciousness, vinnana, involves 3 things:
1.  Sense organ/base - eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and brain
2.  Sense object - sights, sounds, smells, tastes, touch and thoughts
3.  Sense consciousness arises when these 2 interact. 


Strictly speaking it's contact which arises when these 3 interact.  Sense-consciousness doesn't arise in dependence on sense organ and sense object.

CP


Yes.  If you look at the process sequence of DO:

source:  http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.15.0.than.html (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.15.0.than.html)

Quote
[The Buddha:] "Don't say that, Ananda. Don't say that. Deep is this dependent co-arising, and deep its appearance. It's because of not understanding and not penetrating this Dhamma that this generation is like a tangled skein, a knotted ball of string, like matted rushes and reeds, and does not go beyond transmigration, beyond the planes of deprivation, woe, and bad destinations.

"If one is asked, 'Is there a demonstrable requisite condition for aging and death?' one should answer, 'There is.'

"If one is asked, 'From what requisite condition do aging and death come?' one should say, 'Aging and death come from birth as their requisite condition.'

"If one is asked, 'Is there a demonstrable requisite condition for birth?' one should answer, 'There is.'

"If one is asked, 'From what requisite condition does birth come?' one should say, 'Birth comes from becoming as its requisite condition.'

"If one is asked, 'Is there a demonstrable requisite condition for becoming?' one should answer, 'There is.'

"If one is asked, 'From what requisite condition does becoming come?' one should say, 'Becoming comes from clinging as its requisite condition.'

"If one is asked, 'Is there a demonstrable requisite condition for clinging?' one should answer, 'There is.'

"If one is asked, 'From what requisite condition does clinging come?' one should say, 'Clinging comes from craving as its requisite condition.'

"If one is asked, 'Is there a demonstrable requisite condition for craving?' one should answer, 'There is.'

"If one is asked, 'From what requisite condition does craving come?' one should say, 'Craving comes from feeling as its requisite condition.'

"If one is asked, 'Is there a demonstrable requisite condition for feeling?' one should answer, 'There is.'

"If one is asked, 'From what requisite condition does feeling come?' one should say, 'Feeling comes from contact as its requisite condition.'

"If one is asked, 'Is there a demonstrable requisite condition for contact?' one should answer, 'There is.'

"If one is asked, 'From what requisite condition does contact come?' one should say, 'Contact comes from name-and-form as its requisite condition.'

"If one is asked, 'Is there a demonstrable requisite condition for name-and-form?' one should answer, 'There is.'

"If one is asked, 'From what requisite condition does name-and-form come?' one should say, 'Name-and-form comes from consciousness as its requisite condition.'

"If one is asked, 'Is there a demonstrable requisite condition for consciousness?' one should answer, 'There is.'

"If one is asked, 'From what requisite condition does consciousness come?' one should say, 'Consciousness comes from name-and-form as its requisite condition.'

"Thus, Ananda, from name-and-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness. From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-and-form. From name-and-form 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. From clinging as a requisite condition comes becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. From birth as a requisite condition, aging, death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress.


Compare this to:

Quote
Dwelling at Savatthi... "Monks, I will describe & analyze dependent co-arising for you.

"And what is dependent co-arising? 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.


source:  http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.002.than.html (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.002.than.html)

The latter sutta,

SN 12.2 PTS: S ii 2 CDB i 534
Paticca-samuppada-vibhanga Sutta: Analysis of Dependent Co-arising
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
© 1997–2011

...makes way more sense to me.  Because "the brain and nervous system" must first be fabricated.  The instructions for its fabrication is in the DNA.  Therefore, it can be constructed even in ignorance.  Once fabricated, all of the consciousnesses can arise because the matrix for the necessary electro-biochemical reactions are all there.

The previous sutta is inscrutable (to me).
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on December 01, 2011, 08:20:50 am
Note:  As per my previous post, we cannot discuss nibbana without a thorough understanding of DO:

http://www.freesangha.com/forums/general-buddhism-discussion/dependent-origination/msg46523/?topicseen#new (http://www.freesangha.com/forums/general-buddhism-discussion/dependent-origination/msg46523/?topicseen#new)

The two are intimately related.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on December 01, 2011, 08:49:35 am
...makes way more sense to me.  Because "the brain and nervous system" must first be fabricated.  The instructions for its fabrication is in the DNA.  Therefore, it can be constructed even in ignorance.  Once fabricated, all of the consciousnesses can arise because the matrix for the necessary electro-biochemical reactions are all there.
If it would be like that, that the DNA transports the fabrication, we would find us back in the cast systems of Hinduism one more time *smile* How comes that there is an idea that live needs a brain and a nervous system? Maybe you can explain this idea a little more, maybe I misunderstand that.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on December 01, 2011, 09:25:10 am
...makes way more sense to me.  Because "the brain and nervous system" must first be fabricated.  The instructions for its fabrication is in the DNA.  Therefore, it can be constructed even in ignorance.  Once fabricated, all of the consciousnesses can arise because the matrix for the necessary electro-biochemical reactions are all there.
If it would be like that, that the DNA transports the fabrication, we would find us back in the cast systems of Hinduism one more time *smile* How comes that there is an idea that live needs a brain and a nervous system? Maybe you can explain this idea a little more, maybe I misunderstand that.

The confusion is around how and when consciousness(es) arise(s), and what supports it, or causes it to arise.  Consciousness is very energetic, and requires a means by which such energy is generated.  All life is supported by biochemical reactions resulting in higher forms.  It is not until the forms become sufficiently complex and process capable that even the most fundamental forms of consciousness arise.  Therefore, it is not logical, nor is it demonstrable that consciousness would arise first.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime on December 01, 2011, 01:36:50 pm
Remember, the most common use of consciousness, vinnana, involves 3 things:
1.  Sense organ/base - eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and brain
2.  Sense object - sights, sounds, smells, tastes, touch and thoughts
3.  Sense consciousness arises when these 2 interact. 

Strictly speaking it's contact which arises when these 3 interact.  Sense-consciousness doesn't arise in dependence on sense organ and sense object.

CP

Contact between sense organ and sense object produces arising of sense consciousness.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime on December 01, 2011, 09:21:08 pm
The Buddha clarifies this here, CP:

"'The six classes of consciousness should be known.' Thus was it said. In reference to what was it said? Dependent on the eye & forms there arises consciousness at the eye. Dependent on the ear & sounds there arises consciousness at the ear. Dependent on the nose & aromas there arises consciousness at the nose. Dependent on the tongue & flavors there arises consciousness at the tongue. Dependent on the body & tactile sensations there arises consciousness at the body. Dependent on the intellect & ideas there arises consciousness at the intellect. 'The six classes of consciousness should be known.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

and

"'The six classes of contact should be known.' Thus was it said. In reference to what was it said? Dependent on the eye & forms there arises consciousness at the eye. The meeting of the three is contact. Dependent on the ear & sounds there arises consciousness at the ear. The meeting of the three is contact. Dependent on the nose & aromas there arises consciousness at the nose. The meeting of the three is contact. Dependent on the tongue & flavors there arises consciousness at the tongue. The meeting of the three is contact. Dependent on the body & tactile sensations there arises consciousness at the body. The meeting of the three is contact. Dependent on the intellect & ideas there arises consciousness at the intellect. The meeting of the three is contact. 'The six classes of contact should be known.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.


So basically:
1.  Sense Base + Sense object => Sense consciousness arises.
2.  Contact is just the meeting of the sense base, sense object and sense consciousness.

Source:  "Chachakka Sutta: The Six Sextets" (MN 148), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight, 14 June 2010, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.148.than.html (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.148.than.html) . Retrieved on 1 December 2011.

So this is the common use of consciousness that the Buddha usually uses.



CP, you also make a good observation that usually, when you see Dependent Origination being presented, Consciousness conditions nama-rupa.  However, in some instances, the Buddha says that nama-rupa also condtions consciousness.  So how can this be?

The Buddha actually explains it Bodhisatta2010's reference [this is a good find, Bodhisatta]:
-  One is the consciousness of the being before they take rebirth in the womb. 
-  The second is the consciousness of the new being after they've taken on a new set of nama-rupa/5 Khandhas as a new being - where they are born, grow up, get old and die. 
Basically, it shows how there can be rebirth without a soul/self.  So it's consciousness used in different contexts:

Name-and-form

"'From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-and-form.' Thus it has been said. And this is the way to understand how from consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-and-form. If consciousness were not to descend into the mother's womb, would name-and-form take shape in the womb?"

"No, lord."

"If, after descending into the womb, consciousness were to depart, would name-and-form be produced for this world?"

"No, lord."

"If the consciousness of the young boy or girl were to be cut off, would name-and-form ripen, grow, and reach maturity?"

"No, lord."

"Thus this is a cause, this is a reason, this is an origination, this is a requisite condition for name-and-form, i.e., consciousness."


Consciousness

"'From name-and-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness.' Thus it has been said. And this is the way to understand how from name-and-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness. If consciousness were not to gain a foothold in name-and-form, would a coming-into-play of the origination of birth, aging, death, and stress in the future be discerned?

"No, lord."

"Thus this is a cause, this is a reason, this is an origination, this is a requisite condition for consciousness, i.e., name-and-form.

"This is the extent to which there is birth, aging, death, passing away, and re-arising. This is the extent to which there are means of designation, expression, and delineation. This is the extent to which the sphere of discernment extends, the extent to which the cycle revolves for the manifesting (discernibility) of this world — i.e., name-and-form together with consciousness.


Source:  "Maha-nidana Sutta: The Great Causes Discourse" (DN 15), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight, 8 June 2010, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.15.0.than.html (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.15.0.than.html) . Retrieved on 1 December 2011.


So as can be seen, consciousness is used in different contexts when nama-rupa conditions consciousness vs when consciousness conditions nama-rupa.  However, BOTH of these consciousnesses are different yet again to the consciousness of Nirvana - the primordial essence of consciousness.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime on December 02, 2011, 03:04:38 am
Can anybody say succintly what Nirvana is from a Mahayana perspective?

From the Mahayana:

The Shurangama Sutra:
"...The primal pure substance of the beginningless Bodhi Nirvana. It is the primal bright essence of consciousness that can bring forth all conditions."

From the Vajra Sutra:
The "Heart which dwells no where", i.e., a mind which requires nothing to support it.

In the Mahayana, this essence of consciousness is not-born, does not die, does not arise nor cease - it is beyond duality.  Guess what - the Pali Suttas in Udana 8.1-8.4 say the same thing! :)  How could they not?!!!  The same person taught it!
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime on December 02, 2011, 03:13:38 am
From Ajahn Maha Boowa's book, "The Path to Arahantship", Glossary p 107:

The citta is the mind’s essential knowing nature, the fundamental quality of knowing that underlies all sentient existence.

When associated with a physical body, it is referred to as “mind” or “heart”. Being corrupted by the defiling influence of fundamental ignorance (avijjã), its currents “flow out” to manifest as feelings (vedanã), memory (saññã), thoughts (sankhãra), and consciousness (viññãõa), thus embroiling the citta in a web of self-deception. It is deceived about its own true nature.

The true nature of the citta is that it simply “knows”. There is no subject, no object, no duality; it simply knows. The citta does not arise or pass away; it is never born and never dies.

Normally, the “knowing nature” of the citta is timeless, boundless, and radiant, but this true nature is obscured by the defilements (kilesa) within it. Through the power of fundamental ignorance, a focal point of the “knower” is created from which that knowing nature views the world outside. The establishment of that false center creates a “self” from whose perspective consciousness flows out to perceive the duality of the “knower” and the “known”. Thus the citta becomes entangled with things that are born, become ill, grow old, and die, and therefore, deeply involved it in a whole mass of suffering.

In this book the citta is often referred to as the heart; the two are synonymous.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime on December 02, 2011, 04:01:36 am
There has been much written in The Suttas and The Suttras regarding so-called infinite consciousness.  Yet, when we put it to a scientific test by removing the head and letting it bleed to death, Hanzze's cow for example, the being ceases to move, and ceases to communicate on any level.  It becomes "non-sentient". If we attached the appropriate brain activity monitoring equipment we would find that no activity is going on, but for cooling and clotting. 

Consciousnesses have long since ceased to function and dissipated. 

Because "the brain and nervous system" must first be fabricated.  The instructions for its fabrication is in the DNA.  Therefore, it can be constructed even in ignorance.  Once fabricated, all of the consciousnesses can arise because the matrix for the necessary electro-biochemical reactions are all there.

When a creature dies, it ceases to move.  No brain activity can be measured.  This is true.  That is all we can say.  Conscious activity of the brain can no longer be measured in the brain.  But we can not say that consciousness does not continue on after death.

Let's look at a published scientific study in which they measured brain activity in people who had heart attacks.  According to the Cardiologist who headed the study, Dr Pim Van Lommel:

So we have to conclude that NDE in our study,1 as well as in the American2 and the British study,3 was experienced during a transient functional loss of all functions of the cortex and of the brainstem. How could a clear consciousness outside one’s body be experienced at the moment that the brain no longer functions during a period of clinical death, with a flat EEG? Such a brain would be roughly analogous to a computer with its power source unplugged and its circuits detached. It couldn’t hallucinate; it couldn’t do anything at all. As stated before, up to the present it has generally been assumed that consciousness and memories are localized inside the brain, that the brain produces them. According to this unproven concept, consciousness and memories ought to vanish with physical death, and necessary also during clinical death or brain death. However, during an NDE patients experience the continuity of their consciousness with the possibility of perception outside and above one’s lifeless body.
Source:  http://www.iands.org/old_site/research/important_studies/dr._pim_van_lommel_m.d._continuity_of_consciousness_5.html (http://www.iands.org/old_site/research/important_studies/dr._pim_van_lommel_m.d._continuity_of_consciousness_5.html)

Ajahn Maha Boowa explains:
There is a strong tendency to think that consciousness results purely from complex interactions within the human brain, and that when the brain dies, consciousness ceases. This mechanistic view is wholly mistaken. While there is evidence that certain parts of the brain can be identified with certain mental functions, that does not mean that the brain produces consciousness. In essence, the brain is a complex processing organ. It receives and processes incoming data impulses that inform about feelings, memory, thoughts, and consciousness, but it does not generate these mental functions; nor does it generate conscious awareness. That is entirely the province of the citta.

Source:  "The Path to Arahantship", Glossary, p108
http://www.luangta.com/English/site/books/book10_arahatta/Arahattamagga.pdf (http://www.luangta.com/English/site/books/book10_arahatta/Arahattamagga.pdf)


In our cultivation, we want to find within us "that which does not die" - the deathless - that's the real refuge.  Because everything else gets born and dies - there is no safety within the realm of birth and death, because everything that is born will eventually die.  But there is safety in that which does not die.

And what doesn't die within us?  The citta - that which is aware, the knower, the Buddho.  After all, this is why our teacher is called the Buddha.
Title: Re: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on December 02, 2011, 04:34:50 am
And after a while it grows to eternity again *smile*
Title: Re: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on December 02, 2011, 05:23:32 am
It seems we now need a new thread to discuss whether or not consciousness is an infinite "knower".  It seems we should begin with a definition of Citta:

From the English-Pali Dictionary:

Quote
Acittaka (adj.) [a + citta2 + ka] 1. without thought or intention, unconscious, unintentional DhA ii.42. -- 2. without heart or feeling, instr. acittakena (adv.) heartlessly J iv.58 (C. for acetasā).

Acittikata (adj.) [a + citta2 + kata; cp. cittikāra] not well thought of Miln 229.

67. Citta : (page 266)
sālā a painted room or picture gallery DA i.253; -- sibbana with fine sewing; a cover of various embroidery Sn 304= J iv.395; J vi.218.

Citta
Citta2 (nt.) [Sk. citta, orig. pp. of cinteti, cit, cp. yutta> yuñjati, mutta>muñcati. On etym. from cit. see cinteti].   I. Meaning: the heart (psychologically), i. e. the centre & focus of man's emotional nature as well as that

68. Citta : (page 266)
DA i.253; -- sibbana with fine sewing; a cover of various embroidery Sn 304= J iv.395; J vi.218.
Citta
Citta2 (nt.) [Sk. citta, orig. pp. of cinteti, cit, cp. yutta> yuñjati, mutta>muñcati. On etym. from cit. see cinteti].   I. Meaning: the heart (psychologically), i. e. the centre & focus of man's emotional nature as well as that intellectual element which inheres in &

69. Citta : (page 266)
muñcati. On etym. from cit. see cinteti].  I. Meaning: the heart (psychologically), i. e. the centre & focus of man's emotional nature as well as that intellectual element which inheres in & accompanies its manifestations; i. e. thought. In this wise citta denotes both the agent & that which is enacted (see kamma II. introd.), for in Indian Psychology citta is the seat & organ of thought (cetasā cinteti; cp. Gr. frh/n, although on the whole it corresponds more to the Homeric qumo/s). As in the verb (cinteti) there are two

70. Citta : (page 266)
the heart (psychologically), i. e. the centre & focus of man's emotional nature as well as that intellectual element which inheres in & accompanies its manifestations; i. e. thought. In this wise citta denotes both the agent & that which is enacted (see kamma II. introd.), for in Indian Psychology citta is the seat & organ of thought (cetasā cinteti; cp. Gr. frh/n, although on the whole it corresponds more to the Homeric qumo/s). As in the verb (cinteti) there are two stems closely allied and almost inseparable in meaning (see § III.), viz. cit & cet (citta & cetas);

resource: [url]http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philologic/showrest_?conc.6.1.38649.0.223.pali[/url] ([url]http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philologic/showrest_?conc.6.1.38649.0.223.pali[/url])


Purely from the perspective of what Buddha taught in The Tipitaka, The Pali Canon, the primary scholarly reference of Theravada:

As reported in the last few posts in this thread The Mahayana have made "citta" into but another version of soul, an infinite essence or being, which Buddha clearly did not teach in The Tipitaka.  Therefore, from a Theravadan perspective, if Buddha did not teach this, if he taught dependent origination, and impermanence, this is clearly a false teaching.

In The Four Noble Truths found in The Tipitaka Buddha taught the fact of dukkha, the origin of dukkha, that dukkha could be reduced and eliminated, and that that means was The Noble Eight Fold Path, The Middle Way.

Buddha does not teach "infinite mind" or a mind which moves on to other states, such as nibbana.  This is clear from what he taught in The Parinibbana Sutta as we have already discussed.

Nor does Buddha teach that "consciousness" , "thought", or anything other than kamma vipakkha (karmic consequences) move on to a newly formed fetus in a mother's womb post mortem.  The karmic effect was said by him to cause mental factors to arise within the fetus.  Nothing more.  Therefore the rest are inventions from later cultures, false teachings in that they are not his teaching, are contrary to his teaching, and, most importantly, do not reduce and eliminate dukkha.
Title: Re: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on December 02, 2011, 05:39:57 am
There has been much written in The Suttas and The Suttras regarding so-called infinite consciousness.  Yet, when we put it to a scientific test by removing the head and letting it bleed to death, Hanzze's cow for example, the being ceases to move, and ceases to communicate on any level.  It becomes "non-sentient". If we attached the appropriate brain activity monitoring equipment we would find that no activity is going on, but for cooling and clotting. 

Consciousnesses have long since ceased to function and dissipated. 

Because "the brain and nervous system" must first be fabricated.  The instructions for its fabrication is in the DNA.  Therefore, it can be constructed even in ignorance.  Once fabricated, all of the consciousnesses can arise because the matrix for the necessary electro-biochemical reactions are all there.

When a creature dies, it ceases to move.  No brain activity can be measured.  This is true.  That is all we can say.  Conscious activity of the brain can no longer be measured in the brain.  But we can not say that consciousness does not continue on after death.

Let's look at a published scientific study in which they measured brain activity in people who had heart attacks.  According to the Cardiologist who headed the study, Dr Pim Van Lommel:

So we have to conclude that NDE in our study,1 as well as in the American2 and the British study,3 was experienced during a transient functional loss of all functions of the cortex and of the brainstem. How could a clear consciousness outside one’s body be experienced at the moment that the brain no longer functions during a period of clinical death, with a flat EEG? Such a brain would be roughly analogous to a computer with its power source unplugged and its circuits detached. It couldn’t hallucinate; it couldn’t do anything at all. As stated before, up to the present it has generally been assumed that consciousness and memories are localized inside the brain, that the brain produces them. According to this unproven concept, consciousness and memories ought to vanish with physical death, and necessary also during clinical death or brain death. However, during an NDE patients experience the continuity of their consciousness with the possibility of perception outside and above one’s lifeless body.
Source:  [url]http://www.iands.org/old_site/research/important_studies/dr._pim_van_lommel_m.d._continuity_of_consciousness_5.html[/url] ([url]http://www.iands.org/old_site/research/important_studies/dr._pim_van_lommel_m.d._continuity_of_consciousness_5.html[/url])

Ajahn Maha Boowa explains:
There is a strong tendency to think that consciousness results purely from complex interactions within the human brain, and that when the brain dies, consciousness ceases. This mechanistic view is wholly mistaken. While there is evidence that certain parts of the brain can be identified with certain mental functions, that does not mean that the brain produces consciousness. In essence, the brain is a complex processing organ. It receives and processes incoming data impulses that inform about feelings, memory, thoughts, and consciousness, but it does not generate these mental functions; nor does it generate conscious awareness. That is entirely the province of the citta.

Source:  "The Path to Arahantship", Glossary, p108
[url]http://www.luangta.com/English/site/books/book10_arahatta/Arahattamagga.pdf[/url] ([url]http://www.luangta.com/English/site/books/book10_arahatta/Arahattamagga.pdf[/url])


In our cultivation, we want to find within us "that which does not die" - the deathless - that's the real refuge.  Because everything else gets born and dies - there is no safety within the realm of birth and death, because everything that is born will eventually die.  But there is safety in that which does not die.

And what doesn't die within us?  The citta - that which is aware, the knower, the Buddho.  After all, this is why our teacher is called the Buddha.


Hi, OP.  I respect your intentions here, but the reality is that although significant prizes have been offered for those who could verify out-of-body experiences while on the operating room, no one has "ever" collected such prizes.  For example, in one near death experience documentary a surgeon wrote a message on top of the lamps in his surgery and offered a cash prize for anyone who could read and report it to him while under surgery.

I can tell you from my own personal experiences under the knife several times, dead by definition, heart stopped and bypassed that all that I could recall was the anesthesiologist asking me to count backwards, and later, after the surgery, the nauseating feeling of having tubes run down my throat and nose into my lungs and stomach.

NDE's have been well explained as the throws of a dying brain:

Quote
The Dying Brain Hypothesis
Just two main arguments are most often used for the dying brain hypothesis. Interestingly, the first one is the same as for the afterlife hypothesis but for quite different reasons.

The 'consistency argument' is that NDEs are similar around the world and throughout history. The reason, this argument goes, is that everyone has a similar brain, hormones, and nervous system and that is why they have similar experiences when those systems fail.
The 'just like hallucinations argument' maintains that all the features of the NDE can occur under other conditions, not near death, and therefore can be explained in terms of hallucinations or normal imagery.
I shall tackle each one of these arguments in the course of this book to find out just how compelling they are. We shall find that the answers lead us far beyond either of these two simplistic hypotheses.


To examine these you can buy hundreds of different books, no doubt, but they will lead you nowhere as related in this thread, because Buddha did not teach NDE.
Title: Re: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on December 02, 2011, 05:48:55 am
Ron the elder,

Optimus Prime gave very good arguments to let go of the idea to explain things intellectual, especial by adopting scientific haft trues. I guess that was the reason of his post. *smile*

Ajahn Maha Boowa explains:
There is a strong tendency to think that consciousness results purely from complex interactions within the human brain, and that when the brain dies, consciousness ceases. This mechanistic view is wholly mistaken. While there is evidence that certain parts of the brain can be identified with certain mental functions, that does not mean that the brain produces consciousness. In essence, the brain is a complex processing organ. It receives and processes incoming data impulses that inform about feelings, memory, thoughts, and consciousness, but it does not generate these mental functions; nor does it generate conscious awareness. That is entirely the province of the citta.
which is actually province-less *smile*
Title: Re: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on December 02, 2011, 06:38:51 am
Ron the elder,

Optimus Prime gave very good arguments to let go of the idea to explain things intellectual, especial by adopting scientific haft trues. I guess that was the reason of his post. *smile*

Ajahn Maha Boowa explains:
There is a strong tendency to think that consciousness results purely from complex interactions within the human brain, and that when the brain dies, consciousness ceases. This mechanistic view is wholly mistaken. While there is evidence that certain parts of the brain can be identified with certain mental functions, that does not mean that the brain produces consciousness. In essence, the brain is a complex processing organ. It receives and processes incoming data impulses that inform about feelings, memory, thoughts, and consciousness, but it does not generate these mental functions; nor does it generate conscious awareness. That is entirely the province of the citta.
which is actually province-less *smile*

Actually, what he has presented is an unsupportable, unverifiable argument that "consciousness" is an infinite being or entity, which is not what Buddha taught.  Form cannot arise from consciousness.  The reverse is true, which "can" be verified and supported, and has been done many times in repeatable scientific experiments.  It is an experiment, which can be repeated by anyone who has gone through surgery where heart had to be shutdown in order to operate.

Very simiple:  When the heart and brain stops, consciousness ceases.  Period!
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 02, 2011, 07:19:39 am
From the Mahayana:

The Shurangama Sutra:
"...The primal pure substance of the beginningless Bodhi Nirvana. It is the primal bright essence of consciousness that can bring forth all conditions."

From the Vajra Sutra:
The "Heart which dwells no where", i.e., a mind which requires nothing to support it.

In the Mahayana, this essence of consciousness is not-born, does not die, does not arise nor cease - it is beyond duality.  Guess what - the Pali Suttas in Udana 8.1-8.4 say the same thing! :)  How could they not?!!!  The same person taught it!

So does enlightenment ( Nirvana ) consist of experiencing the "primal essence of consciousness?"  And is this equivalent to the "Original Mind" or "Original Nature" which Zen Buddhism talks about?

CP
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 02, 2011, 07:24:53 am
Note:  As per my previous post, we cannot discuss nibbana without a thorough understanding of DO:

[url]http://www.freesangha.com/forums/general-buddhism-discussion/dependent-origination/msg46523/?topicseen#new[/url] ([url]http://www.freesangha.com/forums/general-buddhism-discussion/dependent-origination/msg46523/?topicseen#new[/url])

The two are intimately related.


That's true, but there seem to be different interpretations. :wink1:

CP
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 02, 2011, 07:31:42 am
The true nature of the citta is that it simply “knows”. There is no subject, no object, no duality; it simply knows. The citta does not arise or pass away; it is never born and never dies.

So is the Mahayana view that living beings are "expressions" of citta?  And is citta a permanent phenomenon?

CP
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 02, 2011, 07:36:47 am
when the delusive "I" arises to take possession, ownership & identity with the five aggregates, such as hunger, this is "birth"

No, it's craving ( tanha ).  In the suttas birth ( jati ) is described in a literal, physical way, not in the psychological way you're suggesting. 

CP
Title: Re: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 02, 2011, 07:45:02 am
As reported in the last few posts in this thread The Mahayana have made "citta" into but another version of soul, an infinite essence or being, which Buddha clearly did not teach in The Tipitaka.  Therefore, from a Theravadan perspective, if Buddha did not teach this, if he taught dependent origination, and impermanence, this is clearly a false teaching.

Clearly the Theravada and Mahayana perspectives are different.  However it is said in the suttas that Nibbana is unconditioned ( ie outside the cycle of dependent origination ) and not subject to impermanence.

CP
Title: Re: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on December 02, 2011, 08:20:42 am
Very simiple:  When the heart and brain stops, consciousness ceases.  Period!
That it would be "easy" but the process do not stop at that point. That is a thought of nihilism. *smile*
Title: Re: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on December 02, 2011, 08:22:18 am
As reported in the last few posts in this thread The Mahayana have made "citta" into but another version of soul, an infinite essence or being, which Buddha clearly did not teach in The Tipitaka.  Therefore, from a Theravadan perspective, if Buddha did not teach this, if he taught dependent origination, and impermanence, this is clearly a false teaching.

Clearly the Theravada and Mahayana perspectives are different.  However it is said in the suttas that Nibbana is unconditioned ( ie outside the cycle of dependent origination ) and not subject to impermanence.

CP
So if not subject to impermanence than it is subject to permanence? *smile*
Title: Re: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on December 02, 2011, 10:48:27 am
As reported in the last few posts in this thread The Mahayana have made "citta" into but another version of soul, an infinite essence or being, which Buddha clearly did not teach in The Tipitaka.  Therefore, from a Theravadan perspective, if Buddha did not teach this, if he taught dependent origination, and impermanence, this is clearly a false teaching.

Clearly the Theravada and Mahayana perspectives are different.  However it is said in the suttas that Nibbana is unconditioned ( ie outside the cycle of dependent origination ) and not subject to impermanence.

CP
So if not subject to impermanence than it is subject to permanence? *smile*

Yes.  We all agree that nibbana is "The Unconditioned", and as you say:  "Permanent" unless a Buddha decides to enter samsaric realms for the sake of teaching The Dhamma as did Buddha, and many Buddha's before him.

What is at issue here is "what enters nibbana", and The Tipitaka in The Parinibbana Sutta points out that this is an impropper question as nothing from the conditioned, impermanent realms can enter nibbana, including mind, citta, consciousness(es), because they are all conditioned by kamma vippakha.  Once all taints, defilements, attachments, clinging, all manner of delusions, and other forms of mental contaminants have been purged, purified, let go, release, unbound, mind becomes nothing but useless vessel, luminous or not, because there is nothing to contain, and "nibanna" is attained: limitless, timeless, permanent, beyond compare, indescribable, inscrutable, beyond description by any words, must be directly experienced.

"Not citta!"  "Not purified mind!"  "Not consciousness!".....or any other word or experience from the samsaric realm.  Anyone who tries to put labels on nibbana is conjuring up a false teaching.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on December 02, 2011, 02:23:20 pm
Note:  Previously cited in DO thread:

The following is from an online book entitled:  "A Still Forest Pool", which can be accessed here.  Highly recommended reading for Theravadan Practitioners.:

resource:  http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books2/Ajahn_Chah_A_Still_Forest_Pool.htm (http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books2/Ajahn_Chah_A_Still_Forest_Pool.htm)

The One Who Knows!

The author cites several concepts taught by Buddha, which require personal verification and validation through meditation and mindfulness. By personally observing and learning the characteristics of the aggregates, a.k.a. The Five Khandas:

Quote
Quote
1 the materiality group khandha rūpa-khandha,
2 the feeling group vedanā-khandha,
3 the perception group saññā-khandha,
4 the mental-construction group sankhāra-khandha,
5 the consciousness-group viññāna-khandha
...one comes to realize:

"Whatever there is of materiality, feeling, perception, mental constructions and consciousness, whether past, present or future, one's own or external, gross or subtle, lofty or low, far or near, this one should understand according to reality and true understanding: 'This does not belong to me, this am I not, this is not my Ego.' "
source: [url]http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books2/Ajahn_Chah_A_Still_Forest_Pool.htm[/url] ([url]http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books2/Ajahn_Chah_A_Still_Forest_Pool.htm[/url])



The author then points out that as this perfected, resplendent mind recognizes these aggregates upon their arising, upon this realization such a luminous mind, clear of all confusion and taints, knows that grasping at any of these mental or physical factors will never lead to elimination of dukkha, only an increase and a perpetuation of dukkha.

The author says clearly and coherently:

Quote
Quote
The Buddha saw that whatever the mind gives rise to is just transitory, conditioned phenomena, which are really empty. When this dawned on him, he let go, gave up, and found an end to suffering. You too must understand these matters according to the truth. When you know things as they are, you will see that these elements of mind are a deception, in keeping with the Buddha's teaching that this mind has nothing, does not arise, is not born, and does not die with anyone. It is free, shining, resplendent, with nothing to occupy it. The mind becomes occupied only because it misunderstands and is deluded by these conditioned phenomena, this false sense of self.

Therefore, the Buddha had us look at our minds. What exists in the beginning? Truly, not anything. This emptiness does not arise and die with phenomena. When it contacts something good, it does not become good; when it contacts something bad, it does not become bad. The pure mind knows these objects clearly, knows that they are not substantial.

When the mind of the meditator abides like this, no doubt exists. Is there becoming? Is there birth? We need not ask anyone. Having examined the elements of mind, the Buddha let them go and became merely one who was aware of them. He just watched with equanimity. Conditions leading to birth did not exist for him. With his complete knowledge, he called them all impermanent, unsatisfactory, empty of self. Therefore, he became the one who knows with certainty. The one who knows sees according to this truth and does not become happy or sad according to changing conditions. This is true peace, free of birth, aging, sickness, and death, not dependent on causes, results, or conditions, beyond happiness and suffering, above good and evil. Nothing can be spoken about it. No conditions promote it any longer.



This raises a question: Is nibbana simply a state of luminous, perfected, resplendent, undeluded mind?
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime on December 02, 2011, 06:04:22 pm
From the Mahayana:

The Shurangama Sutra:
"...The primal pure substance of the beginningless Bodhi Nirvana. It is the primal bright essence of consciousness that can bring forth all conditions."

From the Vajra Sutra:
The "Heart which dwells no where", i.e., a mind which requires nothing to support it.

In the Mahayana, this essence of consciousness is not-born, does not die, does not arise nor cease - it is beyond duality.  Guess what - the Pali Suttas in Udana 8.1-8.4 say the same thing! :)  How could they not?!!!  The same person taught it!

So does enlightenment ( Nirvana ) consist of experiencing the "primal essence of consciousness?"  And is this equivalent to the "Original Mind" or "Original Nature" which Zen Buddhism talks about?

CP

I would say so.  Hence why you get these Chan stories of people asking, "What's your original face?  Have you seen your original face?"  In other words, have you penetrated to the essence of your consciousness - the one who knows.  Original Mind, Buddha Nature, Pure Mind, True Mind - they all mean the same thing - it's the unconditioned mind of Bodhi Nirvana.

This is actually not exclusively a Mahayana teaching.  You can say that it's not taught in Theravada all you like but it does not deny the fact that the great Masters of Theravada also teach it - Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Maha Boowa - they all talk about the unconditioned citta that is not born and does not die (remember Nirvana is not born and does not die).  Remember these 2 monks are held by high monks of today to have been enlightened.  The Buddha sometimes spoke of enlightenment as being "mind penetration" - from reading the words of Ajahn Maha Boowa and Ajahn Chah - these guys seem to equate enlightenment with that too - penetrating to the True Mind.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on December 02, 2011, 06:22:35 pm
So the pure mind is the permanent "I"? *smile* Or does unconditioned means something different? What is unconditioned? The "I" or the mind. Whom's mind is it when it is no more conditioned?
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime on December 02, 2011, 06:44:23 pm
Here's another well respect Theravadan teacher, Ajahn Mun, also widely considered to be enlightened, talking about the "Primal mind" and enlightenment being destruction of the defilements/counterfeits:

“The mind is something more radiant than anything else can be, but because counterfeits – passing defilements – come and obscure it, it loses its radiance, like the sun when obscured by clouds. Don’t go thinking that the sun goes after the clouds.  Instead, the clouds come drifting along and obscure the sun.

“So meditators, when they know in this manner, should do away with these counterfeits by analyzing them shrewdly... When they develop the mind to the stage of the primal mind, this will mean that all counterfeits are destroyed, or rather, counterfeit things won’t be able to reach into the primal mind, because the bridge making the connection will have been destroyed. Even though the mind may then still have to come into contact with the preoccupations of the world, its contact will be like that of a bead of water rolling over a lotus leaf.”

~ Ven. Ajahn Mun, ‘A Heart Released,’ p 23

Ajahn Thate said this:
“If we train this restless mind of ours to experience the tranquillity of one-pointedness, we will see that the one-pointed mind exists separately from the defilements such as anger and so on. The mind and the defilements are not identical. If they were, purification of mind would be impossible. The mind forges imaginings that harness the defilements to itself, and then becomes unsure as to exactly what is the mind and what is defilement.

“The Buddha taught [‘Pabhassaramidaμ bhikkhave cittaμ, tañca kho ægantukehi upakkilesehi upakkili¥¥haμ.’] The mind is unceasingly radiant; defilements are separate entities that enter into it.” This saying shows that his teaching on the matter is in fact clear. For the world to be the world, every one of its constituent parts must be present: its existence depends on them. The only thing that stands by itself is Dhamma, the teachings of the Buddha. One who considers Dhamma to be manifold or composite has not yet penetrated it thoroughly. Water is in its natural state a pure, transparent fluid, but if dyestuff is added to it, it will change colour accordingly: if red dye is added it will turn red; if black dye, black. But even though water may change its colour in accordance with substances introduced into it, it does not forsake its innate purity and colourlessness. If a wise person is able to distil all the coloured water, it will resume its natural state. The dyestuff can only cause variation in outer appearance...

“The heart is that which lies at the centre of things, and is also formless. It is simple awareness devoid of movement to and fro, of past and future, within and without, merit and harm.
Wherever the centre of a thing lies, there lies its heart, for the word ‘heart’ means centrality.”

~ Ajahn Thate, ‘Only the World Ends,’ pp 47-9 (Jayasaro Bhikkhu trans.)

I mean, this sort of stuff can easily be seen in meditation and just sitting there reflecting.  If we look at our thoughts - they arise and they cease.  What moves, what is still?  The thoughts move - they come and go within the mind.  Yet "That which knows", "that which is aware" is still - it is something separate from those thoughts.  Because it can sit back and observe the thoughts - the knower is NOT the thoughts - the thoughts are not-self - thoughts are just thoughts that just arise and cease.  So you just let them flow in and you let them flow out of themselves.

Now if you attach to those thoughts as being me and my thoughts, then the thoughts start deluding you, but if you let them be of themselves and start noticing the knower - what is that which is aware of those thoughts - that's when you start to understand about the citta a bit - the unmoving, unborn knowing.
Title: Re: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime on December 02, 2011, 07:34:44 pm
As reported in the last few posts in this thread The Mahayana have made "citta" into but another version of soul, an infinite essence or being, which Buddha clearly did not teach in The Tipitaka.  Therefore, from a Theravadan perspective, if Buddha did not teach this, if he taught dependent origination, and impermanence, this is clearly a false teaching.

The Buddha taught impermanence, yes.  He taught impermanence about things which arise and cease.  He ALSO taught about things which did not arise nor cease - as an escape from the world of impermanence - a way to be free of old age, sickness and death.  Udana 8.1 to 8.4 are clear examples of this.  So to say that the Buddha only taught about impermanence is incorrect.

Having nothing,
clinging to nothing:
that is the Island,
there is no other;
that is Nibbana, I tell you,
the total ending of ageing and death.
~ SN 1094

Cited from page V of The Island by Ajahn Passano and Ajahn Amaro

In other words, the total ending of suffering from impermanence because all impermanent things undergo ageing and end in death.

Not only Mahayana says that the unconditioned mind = Nirvana, but so do respected Theravadan teachers.  So how is it that they came to the same conclusion if one teaching is from the Northern school and one teaching is from the Southern school?  It's because the teaching is the same because obviously, it came from the same teacher, the Buddha himself.

Here's what Ajahn Chah said about the unconditioned and how it relates to the conditioned:

The Buddha talked about sankhata dhammas and asankhata dhammas – conditioned and unconditioned things.
- Conditioned things are innumerable – material or immaterial, big or small – if our mind is under the influence of delusion, it will proliferate about these things, dividing them up into good and
bad, short and long, coarse and refined. Why does the mind proliferate like this? Because it doesn’t know conventional determinate reality, it doesn’t know about conditions. Not knowing
these things, the mind doesn’t see the Dhamma. Not seeing the Dhamma, the mind is full of clinging. As long as the mind is held down by clinging there can be no escape from the conditioned
world. As long as there is no escape, there is confusion, birth, old age, sickness, and death, even in the thinking processes. This kind of mind is called the sankhata dhamma (conditioned mind).

- Asankhata dhamma, the unconditioned, refers to the mind that has seen the Dhamma, the truth of the five khandhas as they are – as transient, imperfect and ownerless. All ideas of ‘me’ and
‘mine,’ ‘them’ and ‘theirs,’ belong to the determined reality.  Really they are all conditions. When we know the truth of conditions we know the truth of the conventions. When we know
conditions as neither ourselves nor belonging to us, we let go of conditions and conventions. When we let go of conditions we attain the Dhamma, we enter into and realize the Dhamma.
When we attain the Dhamma we know clearly. What do we know? We know that there are only conditions and conventions, no self, no ‘us’ no ‘them.’ This is knowledge of the way things are.
Seeing in this way the mind transcends things. The body may grow old, get sick and die, but the mind transcends this state.  When the mind transcends conditions, it knows the unconditioned.  The mind becomes the unconditioned, the state which no longer contains conditioning factors. The mind is no longer conditioned by the concerns of the world, conditions no longer contaminate the mind. Pleasure and pain no longer affect it. Nothing can affect the mind or change it, the mind is assured, it has escaped all constructions. Seeing the true nature of conditions and the determined, the mind becomes free.  This freed mind is called the unconditioned, that which is beyond the power of constructing influences.

p78-79 of The Island by Ajahn Passano and Ajahn Amaro.
Title: Re: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on December 02, 2011, 08:32:34 pm
the unconditioned mind = Nirvana,


Quote
Having nothing,
clinging to nothing:
except the idea "unconditioned mind"  :teehee:


If there is wavering then there will be no end of grasping fabricated supports which have no support ...
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 03, 2011, 04:05:16 am
This raises a question: Is nibbana simply a state of luminous, perfected, resplendent, undeluded mind?

It may be even simpler - Nibbana is just an undeluded mind.

CP
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 03, 2011, 04:09:09 am
This is actually not exclusively a Mahayana teaching.  You can say that it's not taught in Theravada all you like but it does not deny the fact that the great Masters of Theravada also teach it - Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Maha Boowa - they all talk about the unconditioned citta that is not born and does not die (remember Nirvana is not born and does not die).  Remember these 2 monks are held by high monks of today to have been enlightened. 

I agree, though I sometimes think that Ajahn Chah is more Zen than Theravada. :wink1:

CP
Title: Re: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 03, 2011, 04:10:35 am
As reported in the last few posts in this thread The Mahayana have made "citta" into but another version of soul, an infinite essence or being, which Buddha clearly did not teach in The Tipitaka.  Therefore, from a Theravadan perspective, if Buddha did not teach this, if he taught dependent origination, and impermanence, this is clearly a false teaching.

Clearly the Theravada and Mahayana perspectives are different.  However it is said in the suttas that Nibbana is unconditioned ( ie outside the cycle of dependent origination ) and not subject to impermanence.

CP
So if not subject to impermanence than it is subject to permanence? *smile*

Or possibly outside the duality of permanent / impermanent, ie timeless?

CP
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on December 03, 2011, 05:37:42 am
You are citing sources for proof, who/which are not Buddha, and therefore not The Buddha Dhamma.  Citta means "thought" or "consciousness", which is not unconditioned according to The Pali - English dictionary, which was previously cited.

The question is not, "Do Buddhist teachers state that the purified mind attain nibbana." because it appears that they do, in both the Theravadan commentaries, and The Mahyana commentaries.  The question is, "What did Buddha teach?"  So far I have not seen any citations from Buddha himself regarding nibbana = purified mind.

So, I remain skeptical, and more than a little confused regarding this point.

Quote
§ 36. {Iti 2.9; Iti 29}   
This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "Monks, this holy life is lived, not for the sake of deceiving people, not for the sake of inveigling people, not for the sake of the rewards of gain, offerings, & tribute, nor with the thought, 'Thus may people know me.' This holy life is lived for the sake of direct knowledge[1] & full comprehension."


For the sake of direct knowledge & full
   comprehension,
he, the Blessed One, taught
a holy life not handed down,
   coming to shore
      in Unbinding.
      Unbinding.

This path is pursued
   by those great in purpose,
   great seers.
Those who follow it,
as taught by the One Awakened,
heeding the Teacher's message,
   will put an end
   to suffering & stress.


resource:  http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/iti/iti.2.028-049.than.html (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/iti/iti.2.028-049.than.html)
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 03, 2011, 07:54:22 am
The question is not, "Do Buddhist teachers state that the purified mind attain nibbana." because it appears that they do, in both the Theravadan commentaries, and The Mahyana commentaries.  The question is, "What did Buddha teach?"  So far I have not seen any citations from Buddha himself regarding nibbana = purified mind.

The suttas do talk about Nibbana as being synonymous with the cessation of the taints ( craving, aversion and ignorance ), and this seems consistent with saying that Nibbana is synonymous with a "purified" mind. 

I think part of the problem is in defining what "citta" means in various traditions.  As far as I can tell it's about the quality or state of mind, not dissimilar to how the 3rd foundation of mindfulness is described.

CP
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 03, 2011, 07:58:02 am
Original Mind, Buddha Nature, Pure Mind, True Mind - they all mean the same thing - it's the unconditioned mind of Bodhi Nirvana.

But what happens to this Pure Mind when a Buddha dies? 

CP
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on December 03, 2011, 09:13:19 am
The question is not, "Do Buddhist teachers state that the purified mind attain nibbana." because it appears that they do, in both the Theravadan commentaries, and The Mahyana commentaries.  The question is, "What did Buddha teach?"  So far I have not seen any citations from Buddha himself regarding nibbana = purified mind.

The suttas do talk about Nibbana as being synonymous with the cessation of the taints ( craving, aversion and ignorance ), and this seems consistent with saying that Nibbana is synonymous with a "purified" mind. 

I think part of the problem is in defining what "citta" means in various traditions.  As far as I can tell it's about the quality or state of mind, not dissimilar to how the 3rd foundation of mindfulness is described.

CP

So, are we to conclude that once "mind", the container of all defilements, is cleared of all defilements, once "luminous", nibbana is experienced, the pratitioner is unbound and released?  So then, nibbana is actually the state of mind free of defilements.

Is this luminous mind subject to death, but not rebirth?

Once attaining this state what happens next? 

Or, is this a question that is pointless to ask, because it cannot be known without attainment, or which cannot be described, only understood as it is directly experienced?

Quote
§ 41. {Iti 2.14; Iti 35}   
This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "Those beings are truly deprived who are deprived of noble discernment. They live in stress in the present life — troubled, distressed, & feverish — and at the break-up of the body, after death, a bad destination can be expected.

"Those beings are not deprived who are not deprived of noble discernment. They live in ease in the present life — untroubled, undistressed, & not feverish — and at the break-up of the body, after death, a good destination can be expected.


Look at the world
   — including its heavenly beings:
deprived of discernment,
making an abode in name-&-form,
it conceives that 'This is the truth.'
The best discernment in the world
is what leads
   to penetration,
for it rightly discerns
the total ending of birth & becoming.

Human & heavenly beings
hold them dear:
those who are   self-awakened,
         mindful,
bearing their last bodies
with joyful discernment.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime on December 03, 2011, 02:39:56 pm
Original Mind, Buddha Nature, Pure Mind, True Mind - they all mean the same thing - it's the unconditioned mind of Bodhi Nirvana.

But what happens to this Pure Mind when a Buddha dies? 

CP

When the Buddha's body dies (because it was  born - remember birth conditions death), then this Pure Mind is all that is left because it can't be destroyed and neither arises nor ceases.  All that has arisen for him (e.g., the body) has now ceased upon his passing away.  And the asankhata, the unconditioned is all that remains.

In the unconditioned realm, impermanence can't touch it - so no decaying or death - hence why Nirvana is called the total ending of ageing and death.

In Nirvana:
-  There is not even movement - with movement, there is change.  With change, there is time.  With time, there is impermanence.  Nirvana is beyond time.  What changes is subject to anicca - so any change arises and eventually will cease.  What does not change is fundamentally free of arisings and cessations - so how can it be subject to birth and death?  Whatever does not change is fundamentally free of birth and death.
-  Similarly, Nirvana is beyond space as well - it is beyond the concepts of location and distance.  It has no location (remember Nirvana is the not-born - so being haven't been born, how can it have a location?) - so you can't point to where it is - but this doesn't mean that Nirvana it doesn't exist.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime on December 03, 2011, 02:55:47 pm
So another way of thinking about it is Nirvana = the 3rd Noble Truth.
- Enlightened beings like Arhats realize Nirvana upon realizing the 3rd Noble Truth whilst still alive - this is Nirvana with remainder (or Nirvana with residue).
- When Arhats pass away, this is called Pari-Nirvana (or Pari-Nibbana) or Nirvana without remainder (Nirvana without residue, anupadisesanibbana) - in other words, nothing in the conditioned world remains.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime on December 03, 2011, 05:42:10 pm
The question is, "What did Buddha teach?"  So far I have not seen any citations from Buddha himself regarding nibbana = purified mind.

So, I remain skeptical, and more than a little confused regarding this point.

Yeah, it looks like you're confused ;).  Because you have all these highly respected masters like Ajahn Chah and Ajahn Maha Boowa saying what the Mahayana is saying - that Nirvana is a mind free from defilements (i.e., a mind free from greed, hatred and delusion) = the unconditioned mind.  Do you really think these guys (who are widely considered to enlightened) would say something that actually contradicts the Buddha on a fundamental level?  They don't.  They actually concord with the Buddha AND concord with the Mahayana precisely.  So here you have both Mahayana and Theravada agreeing - my goodness what's the world coming to?! lol  It's because it is actually what the Buddha taught - therefore there is concordance between Theravada and Mahayana - there is no difference.

Bodhisatta2010, it's pretty easy to see in the Suttas of the Pali Canon - when you put 2 and 2 together, it's easy to see the big picture:

- “That which is the exhaustion of greed, of hate, and of delusion, is called Nibbana.”
~ S 38.1

- “Cessation of greed, of hatred and of delusion is the Unformed, the Unconditioned (Asankhata)"

~ S 43.1-44 (edited, Ñanamoli Bhikkhu trans.) - The Samyutta Nikaya's 32 Synonyms for Nibbana
Cited in p28-29 of The Island by Ajahn Passano and Ajahn Amaro



- “Bhikkhus, this mind is radiant, but it doesn’t show its radiance because passing defilements come and obscure it.  The unwise, ordinary person does not understand this as it is, therefore there is no mind development in the unwise, ordinary person.
- “Bhikkhus, this mind is radiant, it shows its radiance when it is unobscured by passing defilements. The wise, noble disciple understands this as it is, therefore there is mind development in
the wise, noble disciple.”

~ A 1.61 & .62
Cited in p212 of The Island by Ajahn Passano and Ajahn Amaro


So if:
1.  Nirvana = no greed, hatred and delusion in the mind/a mind free from defilements
and
2.  Nirvana = the unconditioned
and
3.  The radiant mind (pabhassara-citta) has no defilements

What do you think the conclusion is?  Yes, that's right, Nirvana = the unconditioned mind.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime on December 03, 2011, 06:17:40 pm
You are citing sources for proof, who/which are not Buddha, and therefore not The Buddha Dhamma.  Citta means "thought" or "consciousness", which is not unconditioned according to The Pali - English dictionary, which was previously cited.

And the Pali-English dictionary IS Buddha Dharma?

Which definitions would have more weight? 
- The definition of the citta from several highly respected Buddhist Masters who all agree on the meaning of the citta and which concord with both Mahayana and Theravada Suttas and who can explain what the citta means in the proper context.
OR
-  The Pali-English dictionary? 

Dictionaries give meanings, some of which suit the context, some of which don't suit the context.  We've got to use our wisdom to decide which context the definition suits.  Still, I had a look at the definitions in your reference and it still says that the citta = the heart (which is synonymous with the mind).  Thought would be more accurately be described as "thinking consciousness" that is dependent upon the brain (the sense organ) and objects to be thought of (the sense objects). 

Thoughts do NOT equal the mind.  How can we tell?  Just look at the thoughts in your own mind right now - because you can sit back and observe those thoughts, therefore "that which is aware" of the thoughts is NOT the thoughts, is it?


Further, if a teacher is widely regarded to be enlightened, and is highly respected by other Theravadan monks to be an Arahant, then why shouldn't we pay attention to what they say?  After all, one of our 3 refuges is the Enlightened Sangha.  Now maybe they're not enlightened - there's the possibility that Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Mun and Ajahn Maha Boowa are not enlightened - but in this case, the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha are ALL in concordance.

Citta — The heart (in the emotional sense, but not the physical heart), the "one who knows" (but often knows wrongly). The nearest English equivalent is the word "mind," except that "mind" is usually understood as being the thinking, reasoning apparatus located in the head, which is too narrow a meaning for the word "Citta".
Source:  http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/boowa/london.html (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/boowa/london.html)
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime on December 03, 2011, 06:26:25 pm
Here's another translation of the Kevaddha Sutta where the Buddha talks about this:

‘Where do earth, water, fire and wind, And long and short, and fine and coarse, pure and impure no footing find?
Where is it that both nàma (name) and råpa (form) fade out, leaving no trace behind?’

“And the answer is:

‘In the awakened consciousness – the invisible, the limitless, radiant.
[vinnànam anidassanam anantam sabbato pabham]
There it is that earth, water, fire and wind, and long and short, and fine and coarse, pure and impure no footing find.

‘There it is that both nàma and råpa fade out, leaving no trace behind.
When discriminative consciousness comes to its limit, they are held in check therein.’”


Source:  p15 of Intuitive Awareness by Ajahn Sumedho.
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/intuitive-awareness.pdf (http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/intuitive-awareness.pdf)
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on December 03, 2011, 06:53:00 pm
I guess Pure land is easier to seek for *smile* maybe its just a matter of seek which releases.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on December 03, 2011, 08:04:11 pm
Obviously some Theravadins are just copies of Mahayanists :teehee:

Maybe first there was the Mahayana and the Theravada arose from this? :D
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on December 04, 2011, 12:24:20 am
Quote
Maybe first there was the Mahayana and the Theravada arose from this?
Seams that you start to understand, if you refer Mahayana as the path to Bodhisattvahood and Theravada as path to liberation, *smile* but I am not sure yet.

(As for history, it was always like that. First the implementation of great desire and a little later the way to release.)
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on December 04, 2011, 12:27:48 am
Quote
Maybe first there was the Mahayana and the Theravada arose from this?
Seams that you start to understand *smile* but I am not sure yet.

If you ever will be sure that I do understand then I will be definitely lost. :lmfao:

So I prefer to not understand  :)
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on December 04, 2011, 12:34:21 am
This I had understood till before, yes. The fear of being lost, well actually it the greatest hindrance. *smile* So a kind of pure is quite better, isn't it?
Well the tree pulls it down by it self, it has its nature.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on December 04, 2011, 12:36:21 am
This I had understood till before, yes. The fear of being lost, well actually it the greatest hindrance. *smile* So a kind of pure is quite better, isn't it?
Well the tree pulls it down by it self, it has its nature.

Whatever I say you keep on fabricating on top of that. That's fine :teehee:
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on December 04, 2011, 12:45:46 am
Coming back to the topic, do you think that the fear of being lost could be a hindrance to nibbana. Thinking on pure consciousness that would be ok, thinking of simply extinguish of consciousnesses, does it makes one fear? *smile*

What if the first noble truth (dukkha) is not penetrated yet? Would one ever develop a strong desire to understand the second (cause and effect of dukkha) and come to the third (nirvana) in using the fourth (noble eightfold path)?
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on December 04, 2011, 12:52:30 am
Coming back to the topic, do you think that the fear of being lost could be a hindrance to nibbana.
Thinking "hindrance to nibbana" is a hindrance.

Thinking on pure consciousness that would be ok, thinking of simply extinguish of consciousnesses, does it makes one fear? *smile*
Conceiving of "pure" as "not-impure" is a hindrance.

What if the first noble truth (dukkha) is not penetrated yet?
Thinking of "penetrating the first noble truth" is a hindrance.

Would one ever develop a strong desire to understand the second (cause and effect of dukkha) and come to the third (nirvana) in using the fourth (noble eightfold path)?
Thinking of "second" coming after "first" and "third" coming after "second" and "forth" coming after "third" and conceiving of going from first to forth is a hindrance.

Kind regards
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on December 04, 2011, 01:03:18 am
You are a smart thinker *smile*
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on December 04, 2011, 01:05:15 am
You are a smart thinker *smile*

And I admire your ability to post without thinking :lmfao:
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on December 04, 2011, 03:22:04 am
Optimus Prime:

Thank you for your well framed explanations in accordance with your understanding of The Dhamma.  Probably the best that I have ever read.

As for use of The Pali - English Dictionary vs. explanations given by Buddhist masters regarding "citta", we need to have words defined so that we can communicate with each other. 

As for The Sangha:  My understanding of the word "sangha" as taken in the refuge vows in The Theravada means the original Arahants, followers and deciples, who were taught directly by The Buddha.  Examples would be:  Sariputta, Maha Mogollana, and Maha Kassapa, known as Father of The Sangha:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/hecker/wheel345.html (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/hecker/wheel345.html)

I never understood this to mean the larger community of Buddhists, which includes lay Buddhists as well as Monastics.  As can be seen by the numerous schisms which have occurred over the centuries since Buddha's death there have been many disagreements in interpretation and verifiable sources of "teachings" as regards Buddha Dhamma.  For this reason, Buddha gave his dissertation in The Kalama Sutta, requiring that we verify and validate for ourselves.

In summary, any given teacher, no matter how large his following, can only be given credentials in so far as he agrees with what Buddha Taught.  When he disagrees with Buddha's teachings, then what he is teaching is no longer Buddha Dhamma, but his own dhamma.

Finally, a Buddha cannot be verified by simply asking him, or by the preponderance of what others think about him, nor even by what he teaches.  If that were so, then the written suttas might be considered to be a Buddha, but they are not.  They are simply words, often misunderstood words, written and interpreted by students of The Dhamma.  Only the individual who practices and studies can know for a certainy if they are Buddhas, just as Buddha Sakyamuni came to know that he was unbound, released, and attained with a certainty that he had become a Tathagatta.

What is the source of all this uncertainty? :  Mara.  The delusions within the contents of the mind.

So, what are we to believe? :  Nothing!

It is not enough just to believe.  Religions are overcrowded with delusional fools who believe.  What is needed is study of The Dhamma as "taught by Buddha", penetration, understanding, verification and validation through personal practice.  It is not enough to take the word of a teacher, who read something and thinks he understands it well enough to explain it to vast groups of followers, but to practice and to experience for oneself, just as Buddha did and taught with most beneficial effect.

The only way that makes any sense to me regarding the understanding of nibbana is direct experience.  Nothing else, no explanation or viewpoint, or perspective, or teaching is good enough.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on December 04, 2011, 03:57:07 am
A good amount of Saddha (faith out of understanding) is necessary to experience it by one self. Saddha in "this is not" and "that is not" as well as, there is a beyond of this, is quite enough. As you had told, believe will not deliver to anywhere but would give us a reason to rest where we are and never find out by our self. *smile*

Not believe is nothing else than another sort of believe.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 04, 2011, 06:56:33 am
- Nirvana is beyond time. 
.........-  Similarly, Nirvana is beyond space as well - it is beyond the concepts of location and distance. 

Yes, it's difficult to express this in words.  And as we've mentioned before, "What happens to a Tathagata after death" was one of the Buddha's unanswered questions.

CP
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 04, 2011, 06:59:01 am
Obviously some Theravadins are just copies of Mahayanists :teehee:

Maybe first there was the Mahayana and the Theravada arose from this? :D

I think what actually happened was that different groups of monks went off in different directions... :wink1:
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 04, 2011, 07:01:23 am
This I had understood till before, yes. The fear of being lost, well actually it the greatest hindrance. *smile* So a kind of pure is quite better, isn't it?
Well the tree pulls it down by it self, it has its nature.

Whatever I say you keep on fabricating on top of that. That's fine :teehee:

Let's keep our fabricating on topic.

CP
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime on December 04, 2011, 08:17:10 pm
For this reason, Buddha gave his dissertation in The Kalama Sutta, requiring that we verify and validate for ourselves.

In summary, any given teacher, no matter how large his following, can only be given credentials in so far as he agrees with what Buddha Taught.  When he disagrees with Buddha's teachings, then what he is teaching is no longer Buddha Dhamma, but his own dhamma.
In this case, the recorded words of the Buddha in BOTH traditions AND the explanations of these words, explained by respected Sanghans ALL agree.

Finally, a Buddha cannot be verified by simply asking him, or by the preponderance of what others think about him, nor even by what he teaches.  If that were so, then the written suttas might be considered to be a Buddha, but they are not.  They are simply words, often misunderstood words, written and interpreted by students of The Dhamma.  Only the individual who practices and studies can know for a certainy if they are Buddhas, just as Buddha Sakyamuni came to know that he was unbound, released, and attained with a certainty that he had become a Tathagatta.

What is the source of all this uncertainty? :  Mara.  The delusions within the contents of the mind.

So, what are we to believe? :  Nothing!

It is not enough just to believe.  Religions are overcrowded with delusional fools who believe.  What is needed is study of The Dhamma as "taught by Buddha", penetration, understanding, verification and validation through personal practice.  It is not enough to take the word of a teacher, who read something and thinks he understands it well enough to explain it to vast groups of followers, but to practice and to experience for oneself, just as Buddha did and taught with most beneficial effect.

The only way that makes any sense to me regarding the understanding of nibbana is direct experience.  Nothing else, no explanation or viewpoint, or perspective, or teaching is good enough.

I've find that this "believe nothing" is something based on a mis-quoting the Kalama Sutta.  Believe nothing whatsoever is a nihilist or contrarian teaching - it is not the non-attachment of the Buddha Dharma.  Believing nothing whatsoever is attaching to the belief that you shouldn't believe in anything - so one can easily become anti-everything.  For example, do you believe in the Dependent Origination, even though perhaps you don't fully understand DO and haven't verified it for yourself?

Further, the other common way of mis-quoting the Kalama Sutta is "Do not believe anything unless it agrees with your common sense".  So what if they have no common sense?  Should they believe that?  In that case, then they'd be believing their own delusions and agreeing with everything - this is called believing your own opinions - wisdom goes out the window.  So these 2 phrases, "Believe nothing" and "Believe nothing unless it agrees with your common sense" are not what the Buddha said in the Kalama Sutta.

What the Kalama Sutta actually says is "Do not JUST believe someone based on these things like rumour, hearsay, tradition, logic, analogies, inference... that this person is my teacher".  In other words, the Buddha is saying if someone says something, do not automatically grasp at it, believing it without reservation.  He also means, do not automatically reject it either - hence why he's not just saying "believe nothing".  He's saying, "Do not just grasp or reject something automatically just because someone said it".

The Buddha does say verify things for yourself when you can.  So yes, self verification of things is very important.  But if we were to try and verify each and everything, for ourselves, then we would be wasting a lot of our lives verifying little things that takes our focus away from the main picture.

So self verification is but the first part of the Kalama Sutta's advice.  The second part of the advice is to "listen to the wise", i.e., listen to the experts on this - if they are also praising something, pay attention to it and adopt it if you see fit.  If they are censuring something, then you abandon it too if you see fit.

In summary, the Kalama Sutta basically says - don't just believe something automatically, try to verify it for yourself and if you can't see what the wise have to say about it and then you can also test that out.  If you find that either yourself or the wise have found it useful and skilful, take it up - because they will bring benefit and wholesomeness - this is when things should be believed.  But if either yourself or the wise find that it leads to harm of anyone involved then it should be abandoned.

In this case regarding Nirvana, we have the Triple Wisdom of the Buddha speaking the Dharma as recorded in the Sutras, and the Sangha all in concordance.  I have read the words of the Sangha on this matter and tried it out for myself - those of Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Sumedho and Ajahn Maha Boowa.  These guys have described in detail how they approach meditation with regards to the unconditioned mind.  And yes, I've found them to be correct and in accordance with the Sutras and what the Buddha said.  Not only that, I have shared these principles with others and they have applied it to their own meditation - and benefitted from it too.  In fact, Ajahn Sumedho teaches about the Deathless all the time, in fine detail and so does Ajahn Amaro (whose name actually translates as a-mara, i.e., not death - the deathless).  So I have put this Kalama Sutta into practice regarding the Sutra teachings on the deathless - so have all these other respected Sangha members - we all agree that it is skilful and useful, hence why it all makes sense in the context of meditation if you do it correct, according to the Sutras and according to what these respected Sangha members have taught.

Now this is not saying that I have realized the deathless - I'm not even close.  But it's a way to test to see what the Sutras are saying are true and also a way to test whether what these Ajahns are saying are true - because they have personally tested this too.

One more thing - consider this, if Nirvana is the end of greed, hatred and ignorance - where do these 3 things exist?  They exist in the mind of course.  Now when they end, where do greed, hatred and delusion end?  Why in the mind of course!  Hence a mind free from these 3 things is Nirvana.  And since Nirvana is also the unconditioned, Nirvana is also the unconditioned mind.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on December 04, 2011, 08:38:41 pm
Unconditioned mind sounds like a little like an unconditioned "I" *smile* Free from this three things happens only if there is neither "I" nor "not I", its not that the "I" would disappears with the vanish of the three things.
And why is that not possible in the opposite direction? Because the three things are conditioned by "I" or "not I".

So how can we get rid of the "I" or "not-I"? *smile*
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime on December 04, 2011, 09:26:38 pm
So Hanzze, are you saying that there is no "I", that there is no "self"?
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on December 04, 2011, 10:03:26 pm
Well "I" just could not find it till now. *smile* Do you think "I" should continue "my" search? But maybe "I" should search for "you". But what if "we" are the same? Ohh, "it" is difficult. Guess "I" give up.

Where is Buddho? Has anybody seen Buddho? Can you help to find it?
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on December 04, 2011, 10:27:52 pm
Well "I" just could not find it till now. *smile* Do you think "I" should continue "my" search?
It is like in the case of ghosts:
It is not a matter of finding ghosts. It is a matter of being driven by the indefinite 'feeling' that "some ghosts are 'somewhere'"

So are you driven by "I" and "mine" althought these cannot be found?

Where is Buddho? Has anybody seen Buddho? Can you help to find it?
You may kill him if you find him.

Kind regards
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 05, 2011, 02:23:15 am
I have removed a number of off-topic posts.

CP
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on December 05, 2011, 02:34:36 am
Ohh this cleaner *smile* ...

Let me throw this Mango on the so clean place again, it might have been overseen between all the foul one's. Should we pick it up?

Quote
The Joy of the Buddha ([url]http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books2/Ajahn_Chah_A_Still_Forest_Pool.htm#Realization[/url])

If all is impermanent, unsatisfactory, and selfless, then what is the point of existence? One man watches a river flow by. If he does not wish it to flow, to change ceaselessly in accord with its nature, he will suffer great pain. Another man understands that the nature of the river is to change constantly, regardless of his likes and dislikes, and therefore he does not suffer. To know existence as this flow, empty of lasting pleasure, void of self, is to find that which is stable and free of suffering, to find true peace in the world.

'Then," some people may ask, "what is the meaning of life? Why are we born?" I cannot tell you. Why do you eat? You eat so that you do not have to eat anymore. You are born so that you will not have to be born again.

To speak about the true nature of things, their voidness or emptiness, is difficult. Having heard the teachings, one must develop the means to understand. Why do we practice? If there is no why, then we are at peace. Sorrow cannot follow the one who practices like this.

The five aggregates are murderers. Being attached to body, we will be attached to mind, and vice versa. We must cease to believe our minds. Use the precepts and calming of the heart to develop restraint and constant mindfulness. Then you will see happiness and displeasure arising and not follow either, realizing that all states are impermanent, unsatisfactory, and empty. Learn to be still. In this stillness will come the true joy of the Buddha.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime on December 05, 2011, 02:42:23 am
Let's clarify something on the teaching on anatta as some of you guys have something against the Buddha's teaching on a permanent, unchanging, unmoving consciousness/awareness that does not die because it lies beyond the realm of birth and death.  Maybe you think that the Buddha proclaimed "There is no self" from up high - he didn't (you guys are probably thinking "What blasphemy!" lol).

So let's clarify this now:
- That "There is a self" - the Tathagata did not proclaim this. 
- That "There is no self" - the Tathagata did not proclaim this either.
You can say that these are 2 forms duality.

The teaching is anatta, i.e., not-self (but it's often translated as no-self => hence the confusion).  It is a skilful means to look at things so that you can see through them and let them go.  In other words, anatta is a skilful tool to apply to lessen your own suffering.  You look at your emotions, and you reflect, "Oh this is not my anger.  It doesn't really belong to me.  It's just anger - it's just a feeling that arises, has it's own energy and will cease of itself.  So anger is just anger and not self."  That's an example of using anatta to reflect on things.

Another example is to reflect on the 5 Skandhas, i.e., what we take to be our body and mind (1 material factor and 4 mental factors) - these are not self.  For example, the body is just borrowed from nature when the 4 elements come together - and these are not really you - they just come together temporarily and will eventually disperse when you die.  Hence, the body is not self.

Here, the Buddha is asked point blank on whether or not there is a self:

Then the wanderer Vacchagotta went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there he asked the Blessed One: "Now then, Venerable Gotama, is there a self?"

When this was said, the Blessed One was silent.

"Then is there no self?"

A second time, the Blessed One was silent.


Then Vacchagotta the wanderer got up from his seat and left.

Then, not long after Vacchagotta the wanderer had left, Ven. Ananda said to the Blessed One, "Why, lord, did the Blessed One not answer when asked a question by Vacchagotta the wanderer?"

"Ananda, if I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is a self — were to answer that there is a self, that would be conforming with those priests & contemplatives who are exponents of eternalism [the view that there is an eternal, unchanging soul]. If I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is no self — were to answer that there is no self, that would be conforming with those priests & contemplatives who are exponents of annihilationism [the view that death is the annihilation of consciousness]. If I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is a self — were to answer that there is a self, would that be in keeping with the arising of knowledge that all phenomena are not-self?"

"No, lord."

"And if I — being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is no self — were to answer that there is no self, the bewildered Vacchagotta would become even more bewildered: 'Does the self I used to have now not exist?'"

Source:  "Ananda Sutta: To Ananda" (SN 44.10), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight, 1 July 2010, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn44/sn44.010.than.html (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn44/sn44.010.than.html) . Retrieved on 5 December 2011.


Notice also, Bodhisatta2010, that in this Sutta, the Buddha didn't say that ALL consciousness ceases at the point of death - and that this view is one of nihilism, not the Buddha Dharma.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 05, 2011, 02:51:51 am
Ohh this cleaner *smile* ...

If people were more careful with their rubbish, then cleaning wouldn't be required.

Please note in particular these extracts from the FreeSangha Terms of Service (ToS)

1. ....We hope that each member will practice self-moderation of expression. Please review your posts prior to submitting them to the forum, bearing in mind that we aspire to promote tolerance and respect. Debate is a healthy way to discuss Dharma practice and Buddhism, but only when conducted within the realm of Right Speech.

3. Please refrain from the following:
.....Trolling, i.e. posting with the intent of provoking other users or otherwise disrupting discussion.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 05, 2011, 03:06:13 am
Let's clarify something on the teaching on anatta as some of you guys have something against the Buddha's teaching on a permanent, unchanging, unmoving consciousness/awareness that does not die because it lies beyond the realm of birth and death. 

But "sabbe dhamma anatta" suggests that anatta applies to all phenomena, including Nirvana?

CP
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on December 05, 2011, 03:18:21 am
Ohh this cleaner *smile* ...

If people were more careful with their rubbish, then cleaning wouldn't be required.

Please note in particular these extracts from the FreeSangha Terms of Service (ToS)

1. ....We hope that each member will practice self-moderation of expression. Please review your posts prior to submitting them to the forum, bearing in mind that we aspire to promote tolerance and respect. Debate is a healthy way to discuss Dharma practice and Buddhism, but only when conducted within the realm of Right Speech.

3. Please refrain from the following:
.....Trolling, i.e. posting with the intent of provoking other users or otherwise disrupting discussion.


I guess it's off topic but I see it as a polite act to response even to off topics. Actually there is not easy anything off topic on a Dhamma board. *smile* Self moderating is a great idea, as long as we leave it to the particularly self. If people would loos rubbish there is no reason to pick it up, not thinking of what would be if we fail to justify what might be useful and what not.

You would not find harsh words or non respectful post if you read those posts once again you have deleted. Regarding provoking (which should of cause never be with the intention to harm) I need to say, that there would never be an understanding of Dhamma if there would be no provocation to try to think differently to our normal habits. How ever, just personal off-topic thoughts.

If it's ok, I would sign posts blue if they are off - topic but thought to be useful what ever the reason might be.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime on December 05, 2011, 03:28:29 am
You bring up a good point CP, as I too have brought this question up to ponder upon.

If you consider "dhamma" as things/phenomena, if you consider that all "things" arise and cease.  And as you know, Nirvana does neither of these, but virtually all other dhammas do.

As for the precise meaning of "dhamma" in this context and whether you can translate it as phenomena - especially a phenomenon that neither arises nor ceases - not sure.

But if you think about dhamma as something you can point to - so there is a subject/object relationship, i.e., a self here looking at something there - the self view/sakkya ditthi.  In Nirvana, Nama and rupa have ceased - so there is no subject and object relationship.  So perhaps in Nirvana, the question of self/no self does not apply - hence why the Buddha was silent on it.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on December 05, 2011, 03:33:55 am
.... the Buddha's teaching on a permanent, unchanging, unmoving consciousness/awareness that does not die because it lies beyond the realm of birth and death. 

Hear hear ...

Some fantasies get stirred according to old habits but not according to the Buddha's teachings upon contacting the Buddha's teachings. :teehee:
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime on December 05, 2011, 03:35:23 am
CP, here's Thanissaro Bhikkhu's analysis of the Ananda Sutta's self/no self incident with Vacchagotta:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/notself2.html (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/notself2.html)
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on December 05, 2011, 03:39:04 am
.... the Buddha's teaching on a permanent, unchanging, unmoving consciousness/awareness that does not die because it lies beyond the realm of birth and death. 

Hear hear ...

Some fantasies get stirred according to old habits but not according to the Buddha's teachings upon contacting the Buddha's teachings. :teehee:
Such a thing is not born, therefor can not die. Don't worry conditionaly one self would never come in touch with it. *smile*
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on December 05, 2011, 03:47:45 am
.... the Buddha's teaching on a permanent, unchanging, unmoving consciousness/awareness that does not die because it lies beyond the realm of birth and death. 

Hear hear ...

Some fantasies get stirred according to old habits but not according to the Buddha's teachings upon contacting the Buddha's teachings. :teehee:
Such a thing is not born, therefor can not die.
Because it is no-thing.

Don't worry conditionaly one self would never come in touch with it. *smile*
Not to come in touch with anything, not even with no-thing is the end of "worry" :)
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on December 05, 2011, 04:31:41 am
Quote
Optimus Prime:  "Notice also, Bodhisatta2010, that in this Sutta, the Buddha didn't say that ALL consciousness ceases at the point of death - and that this view is one of nihilism, not the Buddha Dharma."

Hi, OP.  Thank you again for clarifying your perspective.

Suppose I were to say to you:  "We were driving through a low lying thick fog, slowly, carefully, we followed the tail lights of the car in front of us with great discrimination, because we could not see the road in front of us. We did this for what felt like hours, but in reality only a few very tense and anxious minutes had passed.  Then, when we reached the end of the fog bank, the dense mist disappeared as abruptly as when we had entered it.  We came into the sunlight, sky now clear with visibility increasing to miles instead of inches.  Relieved and thankful that we had made it through safely, we looked in front of us, the car that we were following so carefully and attentively, trusting in it as the leader of the nearly blind caravan in the fogginess was no longer there.  It seemed to simply disappear as if by magic.  Absent of any other explanation as to where our guiding beacon had gone, we feared that he had fallen into a ditch.  So, fearing the worst, we pulled to the side of the road and walked back into the fog. 

After walking almost two miles the fog lifted just as we came to a high mountain crest where the fog had been the densest.  Looking ahead we could see our car and those of other cars who followed us, using our tail lights.  But, no car in a ditch could be seen for miles ahead or behind.  Nor were there any ditches into which our beacon vehicle could have driven into.  No side roads, no drive ways, no hidden exits.  Nothing which could explain what had happened to the car ahead of us whose tiny red tail lights we had followed to safety.

The sun setting into dusk, the search party decided it was time to get back to our cars.  Shrugging our shoulders in puzzlement we could think of no other explanation for the ghost cars sudden disappearance other than magic.

Entering our vehicle in the now complete darkness, I started the engine and noticed that two red idiot lights were on in my dash panel.  One was a check engine light, the other indicating a low fuel condition.  There they were, sitting right next to each other on the panel.  After checking under the hood and finding nothing immediately wrong, I made a mental note to stop at the next gas station to refuel and to check the engine more thoroughly.

After releasing the hand brake, I looked forward into the windshield and to my amazement the ghost vehicle's tail lights were right there in front of me.  He was back.  But, as I leaned forward to reset the transmission shift arm to "park" the tail lights disappeared again, just as suddenly as they had disappeared after exiting the fog bank.  I sat back in my seat in astonishment and the tail lights reappeared in the windshield in the darkness up ahead.  Leaning forward again, the tail lights disappeared.  I thought, "What the blazes is going on?"

So, I turned off the engine intending to get out of the car and to walk ahead on foot, but as soon as the engine shutdown, the tail lights disappeared. 

"What the heck???!!!"....I voiced to myself.  I got out of the car into the darkened field along the road and could see absolutely nothing.  Got back into the car and could see nothing.  I repeated this ritual several times, but still the ghostly headlights could not be seen.

So, I got back in, now feeling really unnerved, started the engine, and took off, believing that I had entered The Twilight Zone.  Pulling into the road, there the lights appeared ahead of me once again!.....and I got really scared.

Sweating, I loosened and removed my tie, hanging it behind my rear view mirror.  And, as I was doing so the ghost lights in front of me disappeared again.  Startled, nearing a mental state of being terrified, I put my headlights on bright, and floored the gas pedal bringing my car to high speed, and drove that way until I reached the next town, pulled into the first gas station with a mechanic and related my weird experience.

After finding and fixing my problem, a shorted dash panel wire, and refueling I drove the rest of the way home not seeing the ghostly tail lights again for the entirety of the trip.

Months passed.  On the way to our church for an evening mass where I sung in the choir, I noticed that my "check engine" idiot light was on again, and, when I looked up into the windshield a single red light appeared ahead of me.  "Could this be a ghost motorcycle, come to replace my ghost car??"  When I pulled into the dark church parking lot, I noticed that the ghost motorcycle light disappeared when I turned off the engine, and reappeared when I turned the engine back on.

Frustrated, I took the car immediately to the gas station mechanic just across the highway from the church and told the mechanic the problem.  He laughed, knowingly, reached forward and removed my tie clip, and placed it into my hand and said, "Put that into your pocket."  "Get back into your car and turn on the engine."....which I did, and to my amazement, the ghost motorcycle tail light disappeared.

The mechanic then told me to put my "shiny"  "mirror finished" tie clip back on, just where I always wear it, and to look again, which I did, now starting to feel really stupid.  Looking into the windshield again, there it was!  The single ghostly motorcycle tail light reappeared.  What I was seeing as a virtual reflection in my windshield was a reflection of the red idiot light on my car dashboard bouncing off my tie clip.

"Mystery solved!"   When both the check engine light and the low fuel light were on that day driving through the fog, I had been following a reflection on my windshield.  There was no car in front of me leading the way.  All along I had been unconsciously feeling my way along the foggy road, thinking that the person in front of me was guiding me safely along.

Then I realized, even thought I got out of the fog safely through good fortune,  I could just as well have followed that virtual reflection into a ditch if the road had swerved, instead of being straight and true.  Or worse yet, I could have driven into a ditch, wrecking my car, and killing its occupant, thinking that I was safe following someone who could see the way for me.

And that, dear friend, Optimus, is the meaning of Buddha's instruction to the Kalamas.  We are not only ill advised not to find our own way through verification and validation, but we are obligated to do so in our practice.  The only person who can put out our fires which consume us is "us".  No one can practice for anyone else. 

There are no saviors in Buddhism, despite those who call themselves "bodhisattvas", teachers, gurus, brahmins, and who delusionally see themselves as saviors of all sentients.  Each person must find their own way to unbinding, and release, nibbana.  Personal verification, and validation of Buddha's teachings deepens understanding, penetration, and conviction, providing the only sure means of escape from the samsaric realms, endlessly wandering in a fog of delusion, or worse yet, foolishly following someone else doing the same. 

Buddha taught not only with words, but by the example of one who attained sammasambuddha.  Each person must use and become skillful in practice using the precious gift that they were given by him:  The Noble Eight Fold Path,  The Middle Way as taught by him personally in his Four Noble Truths.  We cannot follow this single and only path to freedom and release by getting into line and hoping that the person in front of us knows the way.  To do so is foolishness, and we may very well wind up in a karmic ditch, since the road ahead of us, the samsaric path, is not straight, but winding, varying, and endlessly treacherous.

Short summary:  You can't buy tickets for nibbana.  You can't ride someone else's coat tails into nibbana.  You have to do the work yourself!

And that is the salient point of Buddha's message to The Kalamas, good friend Optimus.......as I understand it. :twocents:

But, I may be wrong.  I'll let you know.   :hug:
Please do the same for me.   :wink1:
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime on December 05, 2011, 06:22:46 am
No one can practice for anyone else. 


Well said, Ron.  I agree with you that self validation is important.  Sometimes, self validation is not enough and we ALSO need to validate with wiser people than ourselves.

As I have said, these teachings that I have been sharing with you on the deathless, the principles of which are found in the Buddhist Sutras, I have read and tried to fathom the meaning of for many years (not that I know very much).  My understanding of this has grown a bit through elaboration of these meanings through the commentaries by both Theravadan and Mahayanan monks.  My understanding has also grown a little through personal application of the deathless in my own cultivation.

And so, my actions have been in accord with the Kalama Sutta not only from a personal verification point of view, but also from the process of double checking my own application and understanding with the teachings in the Sutras and the teachings by respected Sanghans.

Have YOU tried applying the teachings of the deathless to your own meditation?  I have.  If not, then why are you talking to me about self validation since we're on the topic of the deathless, the unconditioned?

And how does one begin by noticing the deathless during their own meditation?  It'll take longer than 1 forum post to explain it but for starters, when you're sitting in meditation, you will notice that there is a still point inside of you, when you're sitting still.  It is a point, a space within your mind that doesn't move.  Stay with that - stay with the stillness, and open up to it, relax into it and just watch it.  Notice the thoughts coming into and out of the stillness.  What moves?  What is still?  Thoughts move, but the stillness never moves.

What's this like?

Consider a ray of light shining into a room with dust floating all around.  What moves?  What is still?  The dust moves, but does the space move?  No.  The space is eternally still.  Similarly, thoughts flow in and flow out of the mind but that which is aware of those thoughts does not move - the watcher, the knower is eternally still.  That which is aware of the movement does not move at all.  Because it is aware of the movement, the movement is something separate from the awareness.

So the space is analogous to "that which is aware" - the watcher, the knower.  The dust is analogous to your thoughts.  Thoughts come and go but that which is aware does not come and go.  Thoughts are like guests which come to your place to stay for a while but then after a while, they leave.  "That which knows" is the host - who never leaves and is aware of the comings and goings.  So you've got to be aware of what's the host and who are the guests.

Suggest you guys read Intuitive Awareness by Ajahn Sumedho for more detailed instructions - it's a fairly easy read on how to apply the unconditioned to your own meditation.  You guys should try it out to see for yourselves, try to understand the principles behind it and then you will see the truth of the matter:
http://abhayagiri.ehclients.com/pdf/books/Intuitive-awareness.pdf (http://abhayagiri.ehclients.com/pdf/books/Intuitive-awareness.pdf)
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on December 05, 2011, 07:37:09 am
No one can practice for anyone else. 


Have YOU tried applying the teachings of the deathless to your own meditation?  I have.  If not, then why are you talking to me about self validation since we're on the topic of the deathless, the unconditioned?



Thanks for the query, Optimus.

Yes, I have tried, but to date have failed to realize "the deathless" during my meditation.  My assessment is that I have yet to get it right, or sufficiently harmonious.




And how does one begin by noticing the deathless during their own meditation?  It'll take longer than 1 forum post to explain it but for starters, when you're sitting in meditation, you will notice that there is a still point inside of you, when you're sitting still.  It is a point, a space within your mind that doesn't move.  Stay with that - stay with the stillness, and open up to it, relax into it and just watch it.  Notice the thoughts coming into and out of the stillness.  What moves?  What is still?  Thoughts move, but the stillness never moves.


Will give it a try next session.  Since my last retreat have been focusing on loving-kindness dispensation.  Focus on stillness was never recommended to me until now by anyone other than you.   :namaste:

What's this like?

Consider a ray of light shining into a room with dust floating all around.  What moves?  What is still?  The dust moves, but does the space move?  No.  The space is eternally still.  Similarly, thoughts flow in and flow out of the mind but that which is aware of those thoughts does not move - the watcher, the knower is eternally still.  That which is aware of the movement does not move at all.  Because it is aware of the movement, the movement is something separate from the awareness.


Actually space may not be still.  The latest scientific experiments at CERN are focusing on the fact that time-space / vacuum is replete with appearances and annihilations of arising polar-diametrically opposed energy and sub-atomic particles.  Space, it turns out, is only empty and therefore still on the average, as there is apparently a high probability as dictated by quantum mechanical principles of constant arising and appearances from parallel dimensions, seven others, aside from the four with which we are used to dealing, now no longer theoretically postulated, but pretty much taken as a mathematic certainty by modern day physicists, and possibly offering a solution to the long sought unified field theory, and explanation for the acceleration of the expansion of our lonely little universe.

http://discovermagazine.com/2008/aug/18-nothingness-of-space-theory-of-everything (http://discovermagazine.com/2008/aug/18-nothingness-of-space-theory-of-everything)

So the space is analogous to "that which is aware" - the watcher, the knower.  The dust is analogous to your thoughts.  Thoughts come and go but that which is aware does not come and go.  Thoughts are like guests which come to your place to stay for a while but then after a while, they leave.  "That which knows" is the host - who never leaves and is aware of the comings and goings.  So you've got to be aware of what's the host and who are the guests.


Thanks for the analogies.  I will definately give it a shot and report back. :wink1:

Suggest you guys read Intuitive Awareness by Ajahn Sumedho for more detailed instructions - it's a fairly easy read on how to apply the unconditioned to your own meditation.  You guys should try it out to see for yourselves, try to understand the principles behind it and then you will see the truth of the matter:
[url]http://abhayagiri.ehclients.com/pdf/books/Intuitive-awareness.pdf[/url] ([url]http://abhayagiri.ehclients.com/pdf/books/Intuitive-awareness.pdf[/url])


Thanks again for the recommendations.   :jinsyx:
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on December 05, 2011, 09:03:58 am
Mind does not abide in abiding, nor does it abide in no-abiding. If mind has abiding, it will not avoid being roped in. If mind values dharmas, dharmas will keep you back.
Tripitaka Dharma Master (http://www.freesangha.com/forums/mahayana-buddhism-forum/sayings-of-tripitaka-dharma-master/msg46753/#msg46753)
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on December 05, 2011, 09:35:29 am
In addition to the wise words of the Tripitaka Dharma Master please do also consider the wise words of the Sutapitaka Master Shakyamuni:


Quote
" 'Whatever is conditioned and volitionally produced is impermanent, subject to cessation.'

MN121 (B. Bodhi)

Do not rely on any alleged attainment through intended meditation!
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on December 05, 2011, 06:11:00 pm
TMingyur, you are a killjoy... really *smile* Let us enjoy the jhanas first and clime step by step.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on December 05, 2011, 08:23:53 pm
TMingyur, you are a killjoy...

Not me, the Buddha was! Oh no, wait ... He hid the killoy in the midst of teasers. :)
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on December 05, 2011, 10:01:37 pm
If you do on like that, sooner or later we will call you Karmapa *smile*
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on December 05, 2011, 10:03:47 pm
 :offtopic:

If you do on like that, sooner or later we will call you Karmapa *smile*

 :eek:

In that case I would need such a funny hat ... but where to get it from?

 :focus:
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on December 05, 2011, 10:14:43 pm
The Unstruck Gong (http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books2/Ajahn_Chah_A_Still_Forest_Pool.htm#Realization)

Living in the world and practicing meditation, you will seem to others like a gong that has not been struck and is not producing any sound. They will consider you useless, mad, defeated; but actually, just the opposite is true.

Truth is hidden in untruth, permanence is hidden in impermanence.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime on December 06, 2011, 01:43:54 am
The 33 Synonyms for Nirvana from the Samyutta Nikaya 43.1-44:
http://www.suttareadings.net/audio/sn43.x.jgol.mp3 (http://www.suttareadings.net/audio/sn43.x.jgol.mp3)
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 06, 2011, 07:56:13 am
As for the precise meaning of "dhamma" in this context and whether you can translate it as phenomena - especially a phenomenon that neither arises nor ceases - not sure.

This extract from Wiki is interesting - though rather inconclusive!

Nibbana and anatta:

Two characteristics of nibbana are permanence and an absence of suffering. The relationship between nibbana and the anatta is a different matter. Walpola Rahula shows that the early attempts of Western scholars to find the atman doctrine in the Pali canon are a result of mistranslations of the original Pali.[45] Rahula further says, though, that in declaring "all dhammas are anatta," the Buddha included even nirvana in his blanket statement that all things are not one's self; this standard Theravada interpretation also hinges on interpreting the word "sankhara" in the widest sense.[46] Peter Harvey agrees with this interpretation; see below.

Thanissaro Bhikkhu and Nanavira Thera disagree, finding that the word "dhamma" is used here only to refer to objects of mental consciousness or mental analysis. They instead assert that the self/not-self analysis does not extend to nibbana at all. While there are passages that describe nibbana as an object of consciousness (such as AN 9.36), this applies only up to the level of non-returning. For the arahant, however, it is directly known without mediation of the mental consciousness factor in dependent co-arising, and is the transcending of all dhammas. In SN V.6, for one example, the Buddha calls the attainment of the goal the transcending of all dhammas; thus nibbana cannot always be included in the scope of the word "dhamma."[47][48] In fact, according to Thanissaro Bhikkhu, the teaching "all dhammas are not-self" applies directly to those who experience nibbana without finality; its use in verses 277-279 of the Dhammapada make clear that the statement is directed at the path, not the goal. The statement reminds the meditator that he or she should not regard the deathless with any form of self-identification, and thus clinging, at all.[49]

Nanavira Thera holds that "all dhammas are not-self" can be read as "all objects of mental analysis are not-self." Since "self" arises in the first place merely as a delusive figment of the mind, and is then attributed by the mind to "the five aggregates of clinging or one of them," a statement that mental analysis finds no "self" in any of its objects is, given the fact that the mind is the only means there is of investigating anything at all, equivalent to a complete denial of the "self" concept.[50]

According to this analysis, the Buddha did not make the metaphysical assertion that nibbana is not self, but neither did he hold the metaphysical view that it is self.[51] In fact, a statement by the Buddha that nibbana is atta or that it is anatta is nowhere to be found in the Canon, and according to Nanavira Thera, both statements regarding nibbana from the perspective of the arahant are inconsistent with statements he did make.[52] In this analysis, the self/not-self dichotomy simply is not applicable there. As AN 4.174 states, to even ask if there is anything remaining or not remaining (or both, or neither) after the complete realization of unconditioned consciousness is to differentiate what is by nature undifferentiated (or to complicate the uncomplicated).[53] The range of differentiation goes only as far as the "All:"


Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 06, 2011, 07:57:49 am
If it's ok, I would sign posts blue if they are off - topic but thought to be useful what ever the reason might be.[/color]

Please don't use funny colours, just follow the Terms of Service and keep your posts on topic.

CP
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on December 06, 2011, 09:10:42 am
As for the precise meaning of "dhamma" in this context and whether you can translate it as phenomena - especially a phenomenon that neither arises nor ceases - not sure.

This extract from Wiki is interesting - though rather inconclusive!

Nibbana and anatta:

Two characteristics of nibbana are permanence and an absence of suffering. The relationship between nibbana and the anatta is a different matter. Walpola Rahula shows that the early attempts of Western scholars to find the atman doctrine in the Pali canon are a result of mistranslations of the original Pali.[45] Rahula further says, though, that in declaring "all dhammas are anatta," the Buddha included even nirvana in his blanket statement that all things are not one's self; this standard Theravada interpretation also hinges on interpreting the word "sankhara" in the widest sense.[46] Peter Harvey agrees with this interpretation; see below.

Thanissaro Bhikkhu and Nanavira Thera disagree, finding that the word "dhamma" is used here only to refer to objects of mental consciousness or mental analysis. They instead assert that the self/not-self analysis does not extend to nibbana at all. While there are passages that describe nibbana as an object of consciousness (such as AN 9.36), this applies only up to the level of non-returning. For the arahant, however, it is directly known without mediation of the mental consciousness factor in dependent co-arising, and is the transcending of all dhammas. In SN V.6, for one example, the Buddha calls the attainment of the goal the transcending of all dhammas; thus nibbana cannot always be included in the scope of the word "dhamma."[47][48] In fact, according to Thanissaro Bhikkhu, the teaching "all dhammas are not-self" applies directly to those who experience nibbana without finality; its use in verses 277-279 of the Dhammapada make clear that the statement is directed at the path, not the goal. The statement reminds the meditator that he or she should not regard the deathless with any form of self-identification, and thus clinging, at all.[49]

Nanavira Thera holds that "all dhammas are not-self" can be read as "all objects of mental analysis are not-self." Since "self" arises in the first place merely as a delusive figment of the mind, and is then attributed by the mind to "the five aggregates of clinging or one of them," a statement that mental analysis finds no "self" in any of its objects is, given the fact that the mind is the only means there is of investigating anything at all, equivalent to a complete denial of the "self" concept.[50]

According to this analysis, the Buddha did not make the metaphysical assertion that nibbana is not self, but neither did he hold the metaphysical view that it is self.[51] In fact, a statement by the Buddha that nibbana is atta or that it is anatta is nowhere to be found in the Canon, and according to Nanavira Thera, both statements regarding nibbana from the perspective of the arahant are inconsistent with statements he did make.[52] In this analysis, the self/not-self dichotomy simply is not applicable there. As AN 4.174 states, to even ask if there is anything remaining or not remaining (or both, or neither) after the complete realization of unconditioned consciousness is to differentiate what is by nature undifferentiated (or to complicate the uncomplicated).[53] The range of differentiation goes only as far as the "All:"


Thanks for sharing that. *smile*
additional to this statements I like to recite this Sutta once again:

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.'"

If it's ok, I would sign posts blue if they are off - topic but thought to be useful what ever the reason might be.
Please don't use funny colours, just follow the Terms of Service and keep your posts on topic.
CP
I will try my best to follow the terms of Service. If colors are not wished, I guess it would need an additional comment in the terms of service to have no misunderstandings and maybe personalized judgments out of it.

*smile*
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime on December 06, 2011, 03:52:20 pm
As for the precise meaning of "dhamma" in this context and whether you can translate it as phenomena - especially a phenomenon that neither arises nor ceases - not sure.

This extract from Wiki is interesting - though rather inconclusive!

Nibbana and anatta:

Two characteristics of nibbana are permanence and an absence of suffering. The relationship between nibbana and the anatta is a different matter. Walpola Rahula shows that the early attempts of Western scholars to find the atman doctrine in the Pali canon are a result of mistranslations of the original Pali.[45] Rahula further says, though, that in declaring "all dhammas are anatta," the Buddha included even nirvana in his blanket statement that all things are not one's self; this standard Theravada interpretation also hinges on interpreting the word "sankhara" in the widest sense.[46] Peter Harvey agrees with this interpretation; see below.

Thanissaro Bhikkhu and Nanavira Thera disagree, finding that the word "dhamma" is used here only to refer to objects of mental consciousness or mental analysis. They instead assert that the self/not-self analysis does not extend to nibbana at all. While there are passages that describe nibbana as an object of consciousness (such as AN 9.36), this applies only up to the level of non-returning. For the arahant, however, it is directly known without mediation of the mental consciousness factor in dependent co-arising, and is the transcending of all dhammas. In SN V.6, for one example, the Buddha calls the attainment of the goal the transcending of all dhammas; thus nibbana cannot always be included in the scope of the word "dhamma."[47][48] In fact, according to Thanissaro Bhikkhu, the teaching "all dhammas are not-self" applies directly to those who experience nibbana without finality; its use in verses 277-279 of the Dhammapada make clear that the statement is directed at the path, not the goal. The statement reminds the meditator that he or she should not regard the deathless with any form of self-identification, and thus clinging, at all.[49]

Nanavira Thera holds that "all dhammas are not-self" can be read as "all objects of mental analysis are not-self." Since "self" arises in the first place merely as a delusive figment of the mind, and is then attributed by the mind to "the five aggregates of clinging or one of them," a statement that mental analysis finds no "self" in any of its objects is, given the fact that the mind is the only means there is of investigating anything at all, equivalent to a complete denial of the "self" concept.[50]

According to this analysis, the Buddha did not make the metaphysical assertion that nibbana is not self, but neither did he hold the metaphysical view that it is self.[51] In fact, a statement by the Buddha that nibbana is atta or that it is anatta is nowhere to be found in the Canon, and according to Nanavira Thera, both statements regarding nibbana from the perspective of the arahant are inconsistent with statements he did make.[52] In this analysis, the self/not-self dichotomy simply is not applicable there. As AN 4.174 states, to even ask if there is anything remaining or not remaining (or both, or neither) after the complete realization of unconditioned consciousness is to differentiate what is by nature undifferentiated (or to complicate the uncomplicated).[53] The range of differentiation goes only as far as the "All:"


Yes, very interesting indeed, CP. 

As I said, perhaps in Nirvana, the self/no self idea does not apply as the self/no self concepts operate in the world of duality - in the world of subject/object (i.e., nama-rupa).  In this world, our 5 skandhas work in this subject/object dualistic fashion where the sense organs are clustered together in the form of the body and mind - which we take to be our "self" - the subject.  So we see the world out "there" as "objects" for our senses. 

Yet in Nirvana, there is no nama-rupa and no duality, so perhaps that's why the Buddha was silent on the questions "there's a self" and "there's no self" as these concepts do not apply in that realm.

So that's my speculation - I may be right, I may be wrong on this one.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime on December 06, 2011, 04:13:38 pm
In the Heart Sutra, it begins with:
When the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara was practicing the profound prajna paramita, he illuminated the 5 Skandhas and saw that they were all empty and he passed beyond all suffering and difficulty.
Source:  http://www.drba.org/dharma/heartsutra.asp (http://www.drba.org/dharma/heartsutra.asp)

What are the 5 Skandhas?  You can think of them as the body and the mind.  The mind means the thinking consciousness in this context - NOT the True Mind of the Citta/ Bodhi Nirvana.  Here the 5 Skandhas are:
- 1 Material factor - the body/form
- 4 Mental factors - feelings, thinking, formations and sense consciousness

So how should we view the body and these mental factors?

The Dhammapada gives this advice:
Knowing the body as false as foam,
knowing it as a hazy mirage,
knowing the barb in Mara’s flowers –
thus the wise elude Death’s Lord.

~ Dhp 46

They who look upon the world
as unstable, insubstantial,
as bubble, mirage and illusion –
they’re the ones Death cannot find.

~ Dhp 170

The Mahayana concurs with this:
“All conditioned dharmas
are like dreams, illusions, bubbles, shadows,
like dewdrops and a lightning flash:
contemplate them thus.”

~ Vajra Sutra, Ch. 32

Source:  p209-210, The Island by Ajahn Passano and Ajahn Amaro
http://abhayagiri.ehclients.com/pdf/books/The_Island_Web_Final.pdf (http://abhayagiri.ehclients.com/pdf/books/The_Island_Web_Final.pdf)
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 07, 2011, 07:52:24 am
Yet in Nirvana, there is no nama-rupa and no duality, so perhaps that's why the Buddha was silent on the questions "there's a self" and "there's no self" as these concepts do not apply in that realm.

It occured to me also that anatta "results" from conditionality, so if Nibbana is unconditioned then it is is "un-anatta" too.

CP
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on December 08, 2011, 09:50:18 pm
Yet in Nirvana, there is no nama-rupa and no duality, so perhaps that's why the Buddha was silent on the questions "there's a self" and "there's no self" as these concepts do not apply in that realm.

It occured to me also that anatta "results" from conditionality, so if Nibbana is unconditioned then it is is "un-anatta" too.

CP

self is fabrication by thought, no-self if fabrication by thought

permanence is fabrication by thought, impermanence (no-permanence) is fabrication by thought


no-self and impermanence (no-permanence) are just fabricated to counter their preceding and underlying thoughts.

Once self is negated and there is abiding in the middle, not grapsing the negation, there is peace.
Once permanence is negated and there is abiding in the middle, not grapsing the negation, there is peace.

This is called the middle way.
The middle way is just fabrication by thought relying on extremes which are just fabrications by thoughts.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 09, 2011, 07:29:12 am
The middle way is just fabrication by thought relying on extremes which are just fabrications by thoughts.

I've read this several times and still have no idea what it means.  Could you explain it?

CP
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on December 09, 2011, 09:13:08 pm
The middle way is just fabrication by thought relying on extremes which are just fabrications by thoughts.


I've read this several times and still have no idea what it means.  Could you explain it?

CP

Having ideas and grasping fabricated meanings is exactly what "just fabrication by thought" means.


Let thoughts cease, let attention cease, do not concentrate on anything and you will understand what "just fabrication by thought" means.

You wouldn't want me to explain the taste "sweet" or would you?
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on December 10, 2011, 03:35:34 pm
The Island
AN ANTHOLOGY OF THE
BUDDHA’S TEACHINGS
ON NIBBANA
Ajahn Pasanno & Ajahn Amaro

http://abhayagiri.ehclients.com/pdf/books/The_Island_Web_Final.pdf (http://abhayagiri.ehclients.com/pdf/books/The_Island_Web_Final.pdf)

(Note:  Found this during my readings, but for the life of me I cannot remember where.  If I copied it from someone's post, thank you.  I will be reading it with great interest.  Thought it needed to be posted here for others.)
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime on December 10, 2011, 05:04:02 pm
Just summarizing some main points:
-  Nirvana/enlightenment is the primary meaning of consciousness/awareness as it has no causes or conditions and is not dependent upon anything.
-  The standard meaning of vinnana can be thought of more as sense impressions, where the consciousness of the 6 senses arises and ceases when there is contact between the sense object and the sense organ - you need certain conditions for this type of consciousness to arise, for example for us to be able to see, we need there to be:
     - A clear path between the eyes and the object to be seen
     - Light, illuminating the object
     - A functioning brain/visual cortex - it can't be damaged
     - Functioning eyes - this can't be damaged or diseased either

Ananda's Debate with the Buddha about Whether the Primary Meaning of Consciousness is Dependent on Causes & Conditions or Not
Ananda actually tries to debate the Buddha on this matter, but the Buddha clarifies it for him in the Shurangama Sutra:

Ananda said to the Buddha, “If the nature of the wonderful enlightenment has neither causes nor conditions, then why does the World Honored One always tell the bhikshus that the nature of seeing derives from the four conditions of emptiness, brightness, the mind, and the eyes? What does that mean?”

The Buddha said, “Ananda, what I have said about all the worldly causes and conditions has nothing to do with the primary meaning.

The Buddha's Question to Ananda

"Ananda, I ask you again: people in the world say, ‘I can see.’
- What is meant by seeing?
- What is not seeing?”

Ananda's Answer

Ananda said,
“- Due to the light of the sun, the moon, and lamps, people in the world can see all kinds of appearances: that is called seeing.
 - If it were not for these three kinds of light, they would not be able to see.”

The Buddha's Response and Ananda's Definition and Clarification of the Principle

"Ananda, if it is called ‘not seeing’ when there is no light, you should not see darkness. If in fact you do see darkness, which is none other than the lack of light, how can you say there is an absence of seeing?

"Ananda, if, when it is dark, you call it ‘not seeing’ because you do not see light, then since it is now light and you do not see the characteristic of darkness, it should also be called ‘not seeing.’ Thus, the two characteristics would both be called ‘not seeing.’

"Although these two characteristics replace one another, your seeing-nature does not lapse for an instant. Thus you can know that there is seeing in both cases. How, then, can you say there is no seeing?

"Therefore, Ananda, you should know that:
1.  When you see light, the seeing is not the light.
2.  When you see darkness, the seeing is not the darkness.
3.  When you see emptiness, the seeing is not the emptiness.
4.  When you see solid objects, the seeing is not the solid objects.


"Having realized these four meanings, you should also know that when you see your seeing, the seeing is not the seeing to be seen. Since the former seeing is beyond the latter, the latter cannot reach it. That being the case, how can you say that your absolute intuitive perception has something to do with causes and conditions or spontaneity or that it has something to do with mixing and uniting?

"You narrow-minded sound-hearers are so inferior and ignorant that you are unable to penetrate through to the purity of the characteristic of reality. Now I will teach you. You should consider it well, and do not become weary or negligent on the wonderful road to Bodhi.”


Source:  http://www.cttbusa.org/shurangama2/shurangama2_16.asp (http://www.cttbusa.org/shurangama2/shurangama2_16.asp)
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on December 10, 2011, 06:26:16 pm
Thanks for draw the important text passages separately and unmissable.

A nice Sutra, but (just a personal addition) do not take it to serious at all. I guess many "I wanna be somebody (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZb3Xya7jQ8#)" tinkered on its till our today's appearances.

I know it is scary, that's why it is good just to put some effort in a better next existence, better consciousness. Realm for realm, jhana for jhana. *smile*
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on December 10, 2011, 09:43:03 pm
Just summarizing some main points:
As to what your views is

-  Nirvana/enlightenment is the primary meaning of consciousness/awareness as it has no causes or conditions and is not dependent upon anything.
consciousness/awareness is at least dependent on a living body so "not dependent upon anything" does not apply. And "Nirvana/enlightenment" is just a thought and thoughts do depend on a living body, too, because of they are consciousness.
And this is all we can validly say if we refer to our experience as humans. But since we are humans and not other than humans we cannot assert anything else and leave what cannot be asserted unsaid. However we can believe. Believing is part of human nature as is clinging (to beliefs) since beliefs are sources of solace in face of knowing about the certainty of our death.
Not caring about death (and life) one is not affected by time and doesn't feel the urge to believe. Not feeling the urge to believe one rests in the sphere of things just as they are. Resting in the sphere of things just as they are one is content. Being content one respects other living beings, does not feel grudge and therefore does not intentionally cause harm and will smoothly fade away just the same way one appeared (to one's own experience).
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on December 10, 2011, 10:16:50 pm
Quote
consciousness/awareness is at least dependent on a living body so "not dependent upon anything" does not apply.
This argument seems to be weak if we think on bodiless beings. *smile*

Quote
Not caring about death (and life) one is not affected by time and doesn't feel the urge to believe.
...could easily lead to such a state of heavenly realms. *smile*

Wisdom is actually a matter of observing how death and life comes, lasts and decays like it really is.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on December 10, 2011, 10:40:24 pm
Quote
consciousness/awareness is at least dependent on a living body so "not dependent upon anything" does not apply.
This argument seems to be weak if we think on bodiless beings. *smile*
This appears to you since you consider beliefs to be stronger than knowing.

Quote
Not caring about death (and life) one is not affected by time and doesn't feel the urge to believe.
...could easily lead to such a state of heavenly realms. *smile*
If you believe in heavenly realms there may arise thoughts that may lead you to this conclusion.

Wisdom is actually a matter of observing how death and life comes, lasts and decays like it really is.
Then why do you rely on beliefs instead on observations?
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Optimus Prime on December 10, 2011, 11:28:05 pm
Just summarizing some main points:
As to what your views is
And my view is based on the Sutras - just about about every post that I have made can be backed up by the Buddha's words, as recorded in the Sutras.  In a lot of my posts, the Sutras are self explanatory - so in reality, it's not me saying this - it's the Sutras saying this.

consciousness/awareness is at least dependent on a living body so "not dependent upon anything" does not apply. And "Nirvana/enlightenment" is just a thought and thoughts do depend on a living body, too, because of they are consciousness.
If this is so, then why is it that the very source material that you posted, the book "The Island" by Ajahn Passano and Ajahn Amaro, has a multitude of material contradicts this view of yours?  For example, Chapter 8, p131 speaks about both Unsupported and Supportive Consciousness - a whole chapter on unsupported consciousness, i.e., consciousness that's not dependent on anything - with a plethora of reference material from the Suttas.

And this is all we can validly say if we refer to our experience as humans. But since we are humans and not other than humans we cannot assert anything else and leave what cannot be asserted unsaid. However we can believe. Believing is part of human nature as is clinging (to beliefs) since beliefs are sources of solace in face of knowing about the certainty of our death.
Not caring about death (and life) one is not affected by time and doesn't feel the urge to believe. Not feeling the urge to believe one rests in the sphere of things just as they are. Resting in the sphere of things just as they are one is content. Being content one respects other living beings, does not feel grudge and therefore does not intentionally cause harm and will smoothly fade away just the same way one appeared (to one's own experience).

The Simile of the Blind Men and the Elephant shows the Folly of Relying only upon direct experience

If you think that only what you have experienced and seen for yourself is what can be said to be valid, then:
- A blind man can rely on touching a part of the ear of elephant and say, "An elephant is like a big fan" and insist that only his view is right. 
- Another blind man can touch the elephant's leg and insist that "You're wrong!  It's not like that at all - an elephant is like a tree trunk." 
- Then another blind man holds the trunk of the elephant and says, "You are both wrong!  An elephant is like a big snake." 
Only relying upon your experience and taking that to be the whole truth is like this - it can be the blind leading the blind.  Why?  Because your own experience can be limited.

A Simile on Chest Pain shows the Folly of Diagnosing based only upon the Symptoms (direct experience)
Consider another example.  You feel some chest pain - from direct experience.  You think you're getting a heart attack - so you panic. 

How do we know whether or not you're getting a heart attack?  We need to get to the doctor/ambulance ASAP to run tests to rule out heart attack and other causes of chest pain.  The doctors would need to check things like your bloodwork, blood pressure, do an ECG, do a doppler scan of your heart and maybe even an angiogram - that's the proper way to tell.  You can't conclude whether or not you have a heart attack just because it's "direct experience".  If direct experience was the be all and end all, everyone can jump to the conclusion that they have a heart attack as soon as they have chest pain.  Chest pain could be from other causes like stomach problem (e.g., an ulcer), a lung problem or problems with your ribs or the musculature between them - each of these may need to be ruled out one by one.

In other words, you don't diagnose something just based on the "symptoms only" - which is what relying ONLY upon direct experience is.  You've got to combine signs AND symptoms, look at all the evidence AND take into account expert opinion as well.

"Only relying on your own experience to be valid" can give the following outcomes:
1.  It can sometimes give you the whole truth - especially for simple matters, e.g., you see an ant and you know it's an ant.
2.  Most often, it gives you a partial truth, e.g., the blind men and the elephant.
3.  At worst, direct experience can give you a false conclusion because you've taken something at face value, e.g., you have chest pain and you think it's from a stomach ulcer from stress but in reality, it's a heart attack.  Or you could have it the other way around - you have chest pain, you think it's a heart attack, but it's only an ulcer.

Your own experience needs to be combined with other objective evidence as well as expert opinion (in the case of this particular thread, the expert opinion is the Sutras - after all, the Buddha IS the person who realized Nirvana, so the Buddha is the expert - why should we believe our own opinion above his? - Especially considering our own opinion is just from our limited experience).
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on December 10, 2011, 11:38:23 pm
Just summarizing some main points:
As to what your views is
And my view is based on the Sutras - just about about every post that I have made can be backed up by the Buddha's words, as recorded in the Sutras.  In a lot of my posts, the Sutras are self explanatory - so in reality, it's not me saying this - it's the Sutras saying this.
Yes, it is true that you are not saying all that you are saying.

consciousness/awareness is at least dependent on a living body so "not dependent upon anything" does not apply. And "Nirvana/enlightenment" is just a thought and thoughts do depend on a living body, too, because of they are consciousness.
If this is so, then why is it that the very source material that you posted, the book "The Island" by Ajahn Passano and Ajahn Amaro, has a multitude of material contradicts this view of yours?...
Expressing conditional statements does neither necessarily mean that one supports the conditions thereby expressed nor does it necessarily mean that one rejects all that does not comply with the conditions expressed.
Having no speculative view there cannot be contradiction. Why? If all there is is all there is where could contradiction arise from?
Just re-read what I have posted and be mindful as to being greedy for getting your views affirmed.
Posting reading material does not necessarily mean that one shares the views expressed therein. Just take it to be dana for beliefers.


And this is all we can validly say if we refer to our experience as humans. But since we are humans and not other than humans we cannot assert anything else and leave what cannot be asserted unsaid. However we can believe. Believing is part of human nature as is clinging (to beliefs) since beliefs are sources of solace in face of knowing about the certainty of our death.
Not caring about death (and life) one is not affected by time and doesn't feel the urge to believe. Not feeling the urge to believe one rests in the sphere of things just as they are. Resting in the sphere of things just as they are one is content. Being content one respects other living beings, does not feel grudge and therefore does not intentionally cause harm and will smoothly fade away just the same way one appeared (to one's own experience).

The Simile of the Blind Men and the Elephant shows the Folly of Relying only upon direct experience
And what do you expect from amending one folly by another folly?


Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on December 11, 2011, 02:19:59 am
Quote
consciousness/awareness is at least dependent on a living body so "not dependent upon anything" does not apply.
This argument seems to be weak if we think on bodiless beings. *smile*
This appears to you since you consider beliefs to be stronger than knowing.

Quote
Not caring about death (and life) one is not affected by time and doesn't feel the urge to believe.
...could easily lead to such a state of heavenly realms. *smile*
If you believe in heavenly realms there may arise thoughts that may lead you to this conclusion.

Wisdom is actually a matter of observing how death and life comes, lasts and decays like it really is.
Then why do you rely on beliefs instead on observations?
Are your arguments (beside that they are not real on topic) founded on believe (idea) or knowing? *smile* There is nothing to believe, but disbelieve is nothing but another believe. Saddha is all one needs, to find out by him self. Therefore its useful to visit other realms first. Its a step by step journey. Never experienced one sadly would need to relay on ideas and believe. That's for sure. *smile*
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 11, 2011, 03:36:06 am
Let thoughts cease, let attention cease, do not concentrate on anything and you will understand what "just fabrication by thought" means.

So are you describing an approach to meditation here?

Spiny
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on December 11, 2011, 05:32:47 am
Are your arguments (beside that they are not real on topic) founded on believe (idea) or knowing?
No arguments. It is just an expression of neither affirming nor rejecting your beliefs. But this expression is based on knowing althought what it expresses qua words neither is the knowing nor the known.

There is nothing to believe, but disbelieve is nothing but another believe.
No. Belief being absent is just belief being absent. There being neither affirmation nor rejection there is neither doubt nor wavering but ultimate certainty.

Saddha is all one needs, to find out by him self. Therefore its useful to visit other realms first. Its a step by step journey. Never experienced one sadly would need to relay on ideas and believe. That's for sure. *smile*
You may believe what pleases you.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on December 11, 2011, 05:35:14 am
Let thoughts cease, let attention cease, do not concentrate on anything and you will understand what "just fabrication by thought" means.

So are you describing an approach to meditation here?

Spiny

Just a suggestion how you may come to understand since it appears that understaning is being blocked through clinging to thought. You cannot understand the meaning of "just fabrication by thought" while clinging to thought.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on December 11, 2011, 05:49:41 am
You need to make it like others, thoughtless *smile* A kind of extravert introvertism. The meaningless meaning rising up with well developed uppekha vedana.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on December 11, 2011, 05:52:57 am
You need to make it like others, thoughtless *smile*
why should there be a need to do anything in any special way fabricated by someone?
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on December 11, 2011, 05:59:24 am
You need to make it like others, thoughtless *smile*
why should there be a need to do anything in any special way fabricated by someone?
Just in the case somebody would like to follow verbalyana to express or attain insight. *smile*
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on December 11, 2011, 06:06:05 am
You need to make it like others, thoughtless *smile*
why should there be a need to do anything in any special way fabricated by someone?
Just in the case somebody would like to follow verbalyana to express or attain insight. *smile*

If there would be a way to attain insight through verbalization (which is neither affirmed not rejected) then nobody could follow the way of another. The latter is generally valid: Nobody can follow the way of another.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on December 11, 2011, 03:29:44 pm
People love Yana's *smile* who likes to walk...
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on December 11, 2011, 08:42:59 pm
The habit of walking (round in circles).
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on December 12, 2011, 04:21:58 pm
(Deleted by poster, due to reading error.)
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 15, 2011, 03:06:05 am
Another thought.  Some say that we have "glimpses" of Nirvana, and that the goal of practice is to increase the frequency of these glimpses, in other words there is a gradual reduction in delusion and a gradual increase in wisdom.  Others say that Nirvana is all or nothing, ie we remain completely deluded until the moment of enlightenment.

What do you reckon?

Spiny
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on December 22, 2011, 04:42:00 am
Another thought.  Some say that we have "glimpses" of Nirvana, and that the goal of practice is to increase the frequency of these glimpses, in other words there is a gradual reduction in delusion and a gradual increase in wisdom.  Others say that Nirvana is all or nothing, ie we remain completely deluded until the moment of enlightenment.

What do you reckon?

Spiny

Since it is difficult for the deluded to know the difference between delusion and reality, it seems logical that the constantly changing universe, internal and external, near and far, up, down, in, out, left and right will through randomness eventually produce periods of minimal suffering.  But, the difference is that this world of delusion changes, and nibbana, the changeless stater free of kamma, does not.

My question is, if what we were before experiencing samsara was nibbana, how did that change take place if nibbana is in fact an unchanging state.  Something had to change.  Could it be that The Big Bang for those familiar with The Standard Model of physics, or The Big Slap for membrane theorists were the initiators due to the forcefulness of the occasion?  Or, was it something else?  I guess you had to be there.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on December 22, 2011, 06:53:44 am
There is only "self" that produces suffering, nothing else. The rest is just as it is. *smile* The question "why it is like it is", is also conditioned by "self", so there is actually no need to request that. Better pull out the poison arrow, rather then to ask who shoot. *smile*
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on December 22, 2011, 07:59:46 am
There is only "self" that produces suffering, nothing else. The rest is just as it is. *smile* The question "why it is like it is", is also conditioned by "self", so there is actually no need to request that. Better pull out the poison arrow, rather then to ask who shoot. *smile*

Again, if the ground state, that which is as it really is.....is nibbana, unchanging, eternal with emphasis on unchanging........, then what caused the first change sending beings  into samsara?
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on December 22, 2011, 08:13:02 am
Again *smile*

Quote
Cula-Malunkyovada Sutta: The Shorter Instructions to Malunkya ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.063.than.html[/url])

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi at Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Then, as Ven. Malunkyaputta was alone in seclusion, this train of thought arose in his awareness: "These positions that are undeclared, set aside, discarded by the Blessed One — 'The cosmos is eternal,' 'The cosmos is not eternal,' 'The cosmos is finite,' 'The cosmos is infinite,' 'The soul & the body are the same,' 'The soul is one thing and the body another,' 'After death a Tathagata exists,' 'After death a Tathagata does not exist,' 'After death a Tathagata both exists & does not exist,' 'After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist' — I don't approve, I don't accept that the Blessed One has not declared them to me. I'll go ask the Blessed One about this matter. If he declares to me that 'The cosmos is eternal,' that 'The cosmos is not eternal,' that 'The cosmos is finite,' that 'The cosmos is infinite,' that 'The soul & the body are the same,' that 'The soul is one thing and the body another,' that 'After death a Tathagata exists,' that 'After death a Tathagata does not exist,' that 'After death a Tathagata both exists & does not exist,' or that 'After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist,' then I will live the holy life under him. If he does not declare to me that 'The cosmos is eternal,'... or that 'After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist,' then I will renounce the training and return to the lower life."

Then, when it was evening, Ven. Malunkyaputta arose from seclusion and went to the Blessed One. On arrival, having bowed down, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One, "Lord, just now, as I was alone in seclusion, this train of thought arose in my awareness: 'These positions that are undeclared, set aside, discarded by the Blessed One... I don't approve, I don't accept that the Blessed One has not declared them to me. I'll go ask the Blessed One about this matter. If he declares to me that "The cosmos is eternal,"... or that "After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist," then I will live the holy life under him. If he does not declare to me that "The cosmos is eternal,"... or that "After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist," then I will renounce the training and return to the lower life.'

"Lord, if the Blessed One knows that 'The cosmos is eternal,' then may he declare to me that 'The cosmos is eternal.' If he knows that 'The cosmos is not eternal,' then may he declare to me that 'The cosmos is not eternal.' But if he doesn't know or see whether the cosmos is eternal or not eternal, then, in one who is unknowing & unseeing, the straightforward thing is to admit, 'I don't know. I don't see.'... If he doesn't know or see whether after death a Tathagata exists... does not exist... both exists & does not exist... neither exists nor does not exist,' then, in one who is unknowing & unseeing, the straightforward thing is to admit, 'I don't know. I don't see.'"

"Malunkyaputta, did I ever say to you, 'Come, Malunkyaputta, live the holy life under me, and I will declare to you that 'The cosmos is eternal,' or 'The cosmos is not eternal,' or 'The cosmos is finite,' or 'The cosmos is infinite,' or 'The soul & the body are the same,' or 'The soul is one thing and the body another,' or 'After death a Tathagata exists,' or 'After death a Tathagata does not exist,' or 'After death a Tathagata both exists & does not exist,' or 'After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist'?"

"No, lord."

"And did you ever say to me, 'Lord, I will live the holy life under the Blessed One and [in return] he will declare to me that 'The cosmos is eternal,' or 'The cosmos is not eternal,' or 'The cosmos is finite,' or 'The cosmos is infinite,' or 'The soul & the body are the same,' or 'The soul is one thing and the body another,' or 'After death a Tathagata exists,' or 'After death a Tathagata does not exist,' or 'After death a Tathagata both exists & does not exist,' or 'After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist'?"

"No, lord."

"Then that being the case, foolish man, who are you to be claiming grievances/making demands of anyone?

"Malunkyaputta, if anyone were to say, 'I won't live the holy life under the Blessed One as long as he does not declare to me that "The cosmos is eternal,"... or that "After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist,"' the man would die and those things would still remain undeclared by the Tathagata.

"It's just as if a man were wounded with an arrow thickly smeared with poison. His friends & companions, kinsmen & relatives would provide him with a surgeon, and the man would say, 'I won't have this arrow removed until I know whether the man who wounded me was a noble warrior, a priest, a merchant, or a worker.' He would say, 'I won't have this arrow removed until I know the given name & clan name of the man who wounded me... until I know whether he was tall, medium, or short... until I know whether he was dark, ruddy-brown, or golden-colored... until I know his home village, town, or city... until I know whether the bow with which I was wounded was a long bow or a crossbow... until I know whether the bowstring with which I was wounded was fiber, bamboo threads, sinew, hemp, or bark... until I know whether the shaft with which I was wounded was wild or cultivated... until I know whether the feathers of the shaft with which I was wounded were those of a vulture, a stork, a hawk, a peacock, or another bird... until I know whether the shaft with which I was wounded was bound with the sinew of an ox, a water buffalo, a langur, or a monkey.' He would say, 'I won't have this arrow removed until I know whether the shaft with which I was wounded was that of a common arrow, a curved arrow, a barbed, a calf-toothed, or an oleander arrow.' The man would die and those things would still remain unknown to him.

"In the same way, if anyone were to say, 'I won't live the holy life under the Blessed One as long as he does not declare to me that 'The cosmos is eternal,'... or that 'After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist,' the man would die and those things would still remain undeclared by the Tathagata.

"Malunkyaputta, it's not the case that when there is the view, 'The cosmos is eternal,' there is the living of the holy life. And it's not the case that when there is the view, 'The cosmos is not eternal,' there is the living of the holy life. When there is the view, 'The cosmos is eternal,' and when there is the view, 'The cosmos is not eternal,' there is still the birth, there is the aging, there is the death, there is the sorrow, lamentation, pain, despair, & distress whose destruction I make known right in the here & now.

"It's not the case that when there is the view, 'The cosmos is finite,' there is the living of the holy life. And it's not the case that when there is the view, 'The cosmos is infinite,' there is the living of the holy life. When there is the view, 'The cosmos is finite,' and when there is the view, 'The cosmos is infinite,' there is still the birth, there is the aging, there is the death, there is the sorrow, lamentation, pain, despair, & distress whose destruction I make known right in the here & now.

"It's not the case that when there is the view, 'The soul & the body are the same,' there is the living of the holy life. And it's not the case that when there is the view, 'The soul is one thing and the body another,' there is the living of the holy life. When there is the view, 'The soul & the body are the same,' and when there is the view, 'The soul is one thing and the body another,' there is still the birth, there is the aging, there is the death, there is the sorrow, lamentation, pain, despair, & distress whose destruction I make known right in the here & now.

"It's not the case that when there is the view, 'After death a Tathagata exists,' there is the living of the holy life. And it's not the case that when there is the view, 'After death a Tathagata does not exist,' there is the living of the holy life. And it's not the case that when there is the view, 'After death a Tathagata both exists & does not exist,' there is the living of the holy life. And it's not the case that when there is the view, 'After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist' there is the living of the holy life. When there is the view, 'After death a Tathagata exists'... 'After death a Tathagata does not exist'... 'After death a Tathagata both exists & does not exist'... 'After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist,' there is still the birth, there is the aging, there is the death, there is the sorrow, lamentation, pain, despair, & distress whose destruction I make known right in the here & now.

"So, Malunkyaputta, remember what is undeclared by me as undeclared, and what is declared by me as declared. And what is undeclared by me? 'The cosmos is eternal,' is undeclared by me. 'The cosmos is not eternal,' is undeclared by me. 'The cosmos is finite'... 'The cosmos is infinite'... 'The soul & the body are the same'... 'The soul is one thing and the body another'... 'After death a Tathagata exists'... 'After death a Tathagata does not exist'... 'After death a Tathagata both exists & does not exist'... 'After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist,' is undeclared by me.

"And why are they undeclared by me? Because they are not connected with the goal, are not fundamental to the holy life. They do not lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, calming, direct knowledge, self-awakening, Unbinding. That's why they are undeclared by me.

"And what is declared by me? 'This is stress,' is declared by me. 'This is the origination of stress,' is declared by me. 'This is the cessation of stress,' is declared by me. 'This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress,' is declared by me. And why are they declared by me? Because they are connected with the goal, are fundamental to the holy life. They lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, calming, direct knowledge, self-awakening, Unbinding. That's why they are declared by me.

"So, Malunkyaputta, remember what is undeclared by me as undeclared, and what is declared by me as declared."

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, Ven. Malunkyaputta delighted in the Blessed One's words.

Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on December 22, 2011, 09:57:00 am
Quote
Hanzze' points to the suttas:  "And what is declared by me? 'This is stress,' is declared by me. 'This is the origination of stress,' is declared by me. 'This is the cessation of stress,' is declared by me. 'This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress,' is declared by me. And why are they declared by me? Because they are connected with the goal, are fundamental to the holy life. They lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, calming, direct knowledge, self-awakening, Unbinding. That's why they are declared by me.

"So, Malunkyaputta, remember what is undeclared by me as undeclared, and what is declared by me as declared."

But.......!!!!    :lmfao:

Yes.  So, we use this one whenever discussing subjects off topic to what Buddha taught.  Right?!!!!
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on December 22, 2011, 06:38:39 pm
"Gratified, Ven. Malunkyaputta delighted in the Blessed One's words." *smile*

Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 23, 2011, 03:20:49 am
My question is, if what we were before experiencing samsara was nibbana, how did that change take place if nibbana is in fact an unchanging state.  Something had to change. 

I think samsara is the default.  Or you could say DO keeps on going while ignorance persists.

Spiny
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Lobster on December 23, 2011, 03:51:08 am
How do we give it a rest?
 . . . the ceaseless desire for a promised future state?

Sit and be works for me. The more I sit. The more I am.
. . . what I am . . . or even if I am . . . not really of interest . . .  :dharma:
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on December 24, 2011, 06:22:36 am
How do we give it a rest?
 . . . the ceaseless desire for a promised future state?

Sit and be works for me. The more I sit. The more I am.
. . . what I am . . . or even if I am . . . not really of interest . . .  :dharma:


I suppose even the lobster feels nice, warm and cozy in the pot!  However, once the water begins to boil, all you can hear is the screams of samsara.

What made the water boil?
Heat beneath the pot.
What produced the heat beneath the pot?
Hunger.
What produced the hunger?
An empty stomach.
What produced the empty stomach?
Being alive.
What caused being alive?
Birth.
What caused birth?
Copulation and Death!
What caused Death?
Birth, aging, and disease..... (etc.)

(http://www.lobsterhelp.com/images/cookinglobster5.jpg)

Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: francis on December 25, 2011, 10:36:15 pm

How do we give it a rest?

 . . . the ceaseless desire for a promised future state?

Sit and be works for me. The more I sit. The more I am.

. . . what I am . . . or even if I am . . . not really of interest . . .  :dharma:


Hi Lobster, that sounds good, but it seems a contradiction. 

Would like to explain what it means?

Thanks :)
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 28, 2011, 07:16:48 am
How do we give it a rest?
 . . . the ceaseless desire for a promised future state?

Sit and be works for me. The more I sit. The more I am.
. . . what I am . . . or even if I am . . . not really of interest . . .  :dharma:

I see what you mean.  Desire for things to be different is usually a source of suffering, while full acceptance of the way things are is actually very liberating.

Spiny
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Lobster on December 31, 2011, 05:34:21 am
Quote
Hi Lobster, that sounds good
:om:
We constantly hear here of positive mind states.
What happens if you are sitting in boiling water
or as happens to me, sitting in a state of fury?

You sit and accept.
When people first sit they want to change the externals.
They want to sit in a monastery or in silence.

Stillness is however a state of mind monkey calmed.
It is the first achievement of practice.

Then you may examine the conditions of disquiet.
Hunger, thoughts, emotions etc - arisings.
Again by just sitting and calmly acknowledging they begin to
join the calmed monkey . . .

We know this.
It is simple. It is basic Buddhism and it works.

The sitting continues.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: francis on January 01, 2012, 08:23:01 pm
Hi Lobster.

Thanks for the explanation. 

If you are boiling, you could try to develop positive mind states by incorporating Metta, and the other Brahma-viharas,  into your mediation.  The brahma-viharas represent the most beautiful and hopeful aspects of our human nature. They are mindfulness practices that protect the mind from falling into habitual patterns of reactivity which belie our best intentions. 

With metta :)
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Lobster on January 02, 2012, 01:23:43 am
Many thanks Francis and Friends of the Metta Ray (Maitreya)  <3

I have done Meta Bhavna with the FWBO as well
as the more chaotic practices of YinYana
http://youtu.be/F0FTWp-7pjk (http://youtu.be/F0FTWp-7pjk)

Regular practice will placate the arising of anger bubbles
but then I believe the flaws are Nirvanic (just less skillful) 

As Rabbi Zen Cohen asks:
Quote
Does my anger contain Buddha Nature?


. . . which reminds me of an orange story you have probably heard . . .

Quote
Oranges

There's this wonderful story about the first meeting between Kalu Rinpoche and Zen master Seung Sahn:

The two monks entered with swirling robes - maroon and yellow for the Tibetan, austere gray and black for the Korean - and were followed by retinues of younger monks and translators with shaven heads ...

The Tibetan lama sat very still, fingering a wooden rosary (mala) with one hand while murmuring, 'Om mani padme hung,' continuously under his breath. The Zen master, who was already gaining renown for his method of hurling questions at his students until they were forced to admit their ignorance and then bellowing, 'Keep that don't know mind!' at them, reached deep inside his robes and drew out an orange. 'What is this?' he demanded of the lama. 'What is this?'

This was a typical opening question, and we could feel him ready to pounce on whatever response he was given.

The Tibetan sat quietly fingering his mala and made no move to respond.

'What is this?' the Zen master insisted, holding the orange up to the Tibetan's nose.

Kalu Rinpoche bent very slowly to the Tibetan monk next to him who was serving as the translator, and they whispered back and forth for several minutes. Finally the translator addressed the room: 'Rinpoche says, What is the matter with him? Don't they have oranges where he comes from?'


<3
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: anata123 on July 18, 2012, 06:19:32 pm

THEN SAID MAHAMATI to the Blessed One: Pray tell Us about Nirvana?

The Blessed One replied: The term, Nirvana, is used with many different meanings, by different people, but these people may be divided into four groups:

There are people who are suffering, or who are afraid of suffering, and who think of Nirvana.

There are the philosophers who try to discriminate Nirvana.

There are the class of disciples who think of Nirvana in relation to themselves.

There is the Nirvana of the Buddhas.

Those who are suffering or who fear suffering, think of Nirvana as an escape and a recompense.

They imagine that Nirvana consists in the future annihilation of the senses and the sense-minds; they are not aware that Universal Mind and Nirvana are One, and that this life-and-death world and Nirvana are not to be separated. These ignorant ones, instead of meditating on the imagelessness of Nirvana, talk of different ways of emancipation. Being ignorant of, or not understanding, the teachings of the Tathagatas, they cling to the notion of Nirvana that is outside what is seen of the mind and, thus, go on rolling themselves along with the wheel of life and death.

As to the Nirvanas discriminated by the philosophers: there really are none.

Some philosophers conceive Nirvana to be found where the mind-system no more operates owing to the cessation of the elements that make up personality and its world; or is found where there is utter indifference to the objective world and its impermanency. Some conceive Nirvana to be a state where there is no recollection of the past or present, just as when a lamp is extinguished, or when a seed is burnt, or when a fire goes out; because then there is the cessation of all the substrate, which is explained by the philosophers as the non-rising of discrimination.

But this is not Nirvana, because Nirvana does not consist in simple annihilation and vacuity. Again, some philosophers explain deliverance as though it was the mere stopping of discrimination. As when the wind stops blowing, or as when one by self-effort gets rid of the dualistic view of knower and known, or gets rid of the notions of permanency and impermanency; or gets rid of the notions of good and evil; or overcomes passion by means of knowledge;--to them Nirvana is deliverance. Some, seeing in "form" the bearer of pain are alarmed by the notion of "form" and look for happiness in a world of "no-form." Some conceive that in consideration of individuality and generality recognizable in all things inner and outer, that there is no destruction and that all beings maintain their being forever and, in this eternality, see Nirvana.

Others see the eternality of things in the conception of Nirvana as the absorption of the finite-soul in Supreme Atman; or who see all things as a manifestation of the vital-force of some Supreme Spirit to which all return.

Some, who are especially silly, declare that there are two primary things, a primary substance and a primary soul, that react differently upon each other and thus produce all things from the transformations of qualities.

Some think that the world is born of action and interaction and that no other cause is necessary; others think that Ishvara is the free creator of all things; clinging to these foolish notions, there is no awakening, and they consider Nirvana to consist in the fact that there is no awakening.

Some imagine that Nirvana is where self-nature exists in its own right, unhampered by other self-natures, as the varigated feathers of a peacock, or various precious crystals, or the point of a thorn. Some conceive being to be Nirvana, some non-being, while others conceive that all things and Nirvana are not to be distinguished from one another.

Some, thinking that time is the creator and that as the rise of the world depends on time, they conceive that Nirvana consists in the recognition of time as Nirvana.

Some think that there will be Nirvana when the "twenty-five" truths are generally accepted, or when the king observes the six virtues, and some religionists think that Nirvana is the attainment of paradise.

These views severally advanced by the philosophers with their various reasonings are not in accord with logic nor are they acceptable to the wise. They all conceive Nirvana dualistically and in some causal connection; by these discriminations philosophers imagine Nirvana, but where there is no rising and no disappearing, how can there be discrimination?

Each philosopher relying on his own textbook from which he draws his understanding, sins against the truth, because truth is not where he imagines it to be. The only result is that it sets his mind to wandering about and becoming more confused as Nirvana is not to be found by mental searching, and the more his mind becomes confused the more he confuses other people. As to the notion of Nirvana as held by disciples and masters who still cling to the notion of an ego-self, and who try to find it by going off by themselves into solitude:
their notion of Nirvana is an eternity of bliss like the bliss of the Samadhis-for themselves.
They recognise that the world is only a manifestation of mind and that all discriminations are of the mind, and so they forsake social relations and practise various spiritual disciplines and in solitude seek self-realisation of Noble Wisdom by self-effort.

They follow the stages to the sixth and attain the bliss of the Samadhis, but as they are still clinging to egoism they do not attain the "turning-about" at the deepest seat of consciousness and, therefore, they are not free from the thinking-mind and the accumulation of its habit-energy. Clinging to the bliss of the Samadhis, they pass to their Nirvana, but it is not the Nirvana of the Tathagatas. They are of those who have "entered the stream"; they must return to this world of life and death.

 * THEN SAID MAHAMATI to the Blessed One: When the Bodhisattvas yield up their stock of merit for the emancipation of all beings, they become spiritually one with all animate life; they themselves may be purified, but in others there yet remain unexhausted evil and unmatured karma. Pray tell us, Blessed One, how the Bodhisattvas are given assurance of Nirvana?

and what is the Nirvana of the Bodhisattvas?

The Blessed One replied: Mahamati, this assurance is not an assurance of numbers nor logic; it is not the mind that is to be assured but the heart. The Bodhisattva's assurance comes with the unfolding insight that follows passion hindrances cleared away, knowledge hindrance purified, and egolessness clearly perceived and patiently accepted. As the mortal-mind ceases to discriminate, there is no more thirst for life, no more sex-lust, no more thirst for learning, no more thirst for eternal life; with the disappearance of these fourfold thirsts, there is no more accumulation of habit-energy; with no more accumulation of habit-energy the defilements on the face of Universal Mind clear away, and the Bodhisattva attains self-realisation of Noble Wisdom that is the heart's assurance of Nirvana. There are Bodhisattvas here and in other Buddha-lands, who are sincerely devoted to the Bodhisattva's mission and yet who cannot wholly forget the bliss of the Samadhis and the peace of Nirvana-for themselves. The teaching of Nirvana in which there is no substrate left behind, is revealed according to a hidden meaning for the sake of these disciples who still cling to thoughts of Nirvana for themselves, that they may be inspired to exert themselves in the Bodhisattva's mission of emancipation for all beings.

The Transformation-Buddhas teach a doctrine of Nirvana to meet conditions as they find them, and to give encouragement to the timid and selfish. In order to turn their thoughts away from themselves and to encourage them to a deeper compassion and more earnest zeal for others, they are given assurance as to the future by the sustaining power of the Buddhas of Transformation, but not by the Dharmata-Buddha. The Dharma which establishes the Truth of Noble Wisdom belongs to the realm of the Dharmata-Buddha.

To the Bodhisattvas of the seventh and eighth stages, Transcendental Intelligence is revealed by the Dharmata-Buddha and the Path is pointed out to them which they are to follow. In the perfect self-realisation of Noble Wisdom that follows the inconceivable transformation death of the Bodhisattva's individualised will-control, he no longer lives unto himself, but the life that he lives thereafter is the Tathagata's universalised life as manifested in its transformations. In this perfect self-realisation of Noble Wisdom the Bodhisattva realises that for Buddhas there is no Nirvana. The death of a Buddha, the great Parinirvana, is neither destruction nor death, else would it be birth and continuation.

 If it were destruction, it would be an effect-producing deed, which it is not. Neither is it a vanishing nor an abandonment, neither is it attainment, nor is it of no attainment; neither is it of one significance nor of no significance, for there is no Nirvana for the Buddhas.

The Tathagata's Nirvana is where it is recognised that there is nothing but what is seen of the mind itself; is where, recognising the nature of the self-mind, one no longer cherishes the dualisms of discrimination; is where there is no more thirst nor grasping; is where there is no more attachment to external things.

Nirvana is where the thinking-mind with all its discriminations, attachments, aversions and egoism is forever put away; is where logical measures, as they are seen to be inert, are no longer seized upon; is where even the notion of truth is treated with indifference because of its causing bewilderment; is where, getting rid of the four propositions, there is insight into the abode of Reality. Nirvana is where the twofold passions have subsided and the twofold hindrances are cleared away and the twofold egolessness is patiently accepted; is where, by the attainment of the "turning-about" in the deepest seat of consciousness, self-realisation of Noble Wisdom is fully entered into,--that is the Nirvana of the Tathagatas.


 GODDARD, DWIGHT  (2011-02-21). A BUDDHIST BIBLE (p. 69).  . Kindle Edition.


 

 
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: J. McKenna on July 19, 2012, 07:51:21 pm
not but a bang    a really big one      but      still a bang
 
 
 
a universe is born        again and         again and
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: gilby1979 on August 30, 2012, 05:34:31 pm
Many ideas, anybody an idea to come rid of ideas? *smile* I mean, we could simply look for our self. Well if we run a travel agency its pretty important to find tasty words.

"Hey, that guy might know where I like to go." *smile*

That's enlightenning.
I have the same notion that right and wrong dont really exist. Right and wrong is depended on the perspective and perspectives are depended on the conditioning of individuals which is out of people's control.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Lobster on September 03, 2012, 07:23:42 pm

Quote
I have the same notion that right and wrong dont really exist.
It is skilful to talk about what avoids suffering and empowers right view.
As we grow with the flow, we engage and move with grace in mind, body and the spirit of the three jewels.

As we increase in wisdom independent of God States
we are able to engage in a Star Trek beyond the dharma stars
and make it so . . .

Nirvana  :namaste:
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Bilim on November 21, 2012, 11:34:59 am
My dear friends,

Nirvana or  ''NIBBANA'' means to be free from the prison of the mind. That is it. How you do it is very easy or is very hard, depending on your situation within the prison. That is you will be at NOW...Just be mindful, to realise it.

With metta,
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: J. McKenna on November 22, 2012, 06:19:32 pm
what is nowhere as important as where
 
 
neither as necessary as when
 
 
time is an manifested abstraction so paramount is then      why
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: NepalianBuddhist on December 26, 2012, 01:02:15 pm
Quote
What is Nirvana?

The dissipation of suffering.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Barah on January 11, 2013, 01:47:52 am
Nirvana is here. It cannot be grasped by mind, as it is "not grasping mind" itself.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on January 11, 2013, 07:00:07 am
21 pages and we still can't agree.... :teehee:
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on January 11, 2013, 10:02:57 am
There being no support at all every single conciousness arises by means of grasping itself, holding on to itself. Beyond conciousness there is nothing - beyond consciouness there is everything - no difference. Why? Because "there is" and "there is not" are just conciousnesses.  :fu:
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Bilim on February 04, 2013, 04:21:41 pm
There being no support at all every single conciousness arises by means of grasping itself, holding on to itself. Beyond conciousness there is nothing - beyond consciouness there is everything - no difference. Why? Because "there is" and "there is not" are just conciousnesses.  :fu:

How do you know?
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: songhill on February 04, 2013, 06:02:43 pm
This is an interesting passage:

Quote
Kasyapa, accordingly at the time one bcomes a Tathagata, a Buddha, he is in nirvana, and is referred to as ‘permanent,’ ‘steadfast,’ ‘calm,’ ‘eternal,’ ‘and ‘self’ (atman). — Mahâbherîhâraka Sutra

Nirvana appears to be the antithesis of impermanence and the lack of self (anâtman).

Another interesting passage:

Quote
The Self signifies the Buddha; the Eternal signifies the Dharmakaya; Bliss signifies Nirvana, and the Pure signifies Dharma. ~ Mahaparinirvana Sutra

Here is something from Dr. D.T. Suzuki:

Quote
When Nagarjuna says in his Madhyamika Shastra that:  "That is called Nirvana which is not wanting, is not acquired, is not intermittent, is not non-intermittent, is not subject to destruction, and is not created;" he evidently speaks of Nirvana as a synonym of Dharmakaya, that is, in its first sense as above described.  Chandra Kirti, therefore, rightly comments that Nirvana is sarva-kalpanâ-ksaya-rupam, i.e., that which transcends all the forms of determination.  Nirvana is an absolute, it is above the relativity of existence (bhâva) and non-existence (abhâva).  Nirvana is sometimes spoken of as possessing four attributes; (1) eternal (nitya), (2) blissful (sukha) (3) self-acting (âtman), and (4) pure (shushi).  Judging from these qualities thus ascribed to Nirvana as its essential features, Nirvana is here again identified with the highest reality of Buddhism, that is, with the Dharmakaya.  It is eternal because it is immaterial; it is blissful because it is above all sufferings; it is self-acting because it knows no compulsion; it is pure because it is not defiled by passion and error" (Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki, Outline of Mahayana Buddhism, p. 347–348).
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on February 04, 2013, 07:38:46 pm
There being no support at all every single conciousness arises by means of grasping itself, holding on to itself. Beyond conciousness there is nothing - beyond consciouness there is everything - no difference. Why? Because "there is" and "there is not" are just conciousnesses.  :fu:

How do you know?

It is just knowing.  If a "how" could be described by means of words and if these words would cause appropriate ideas in a hearer or reader of these words and if these ideas would be knowing then knowing would be ubiquitous.

That said knowing actually is ubiquitous, it just is continuously covered up by consciousnesses. :fu:
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: pmsbdh on February 07, 2013, 11:43:02 am
I just start to feel the hunger to learn/read definition of Nirvana (and all aspects of it) after i was 'plunged' into one spiritual experience/state (for half day) where i lost all my greed, worry, dosa, laba, etc. That experience is just an introduction (for me to understand) on how a person reached a pure spiritual state [in Christianity point of view, also shared by spiritual beings].

Minutes ago, i'm just surprised that definition of Nirvana [in words] is so Similar to my short [and poor] experience. I hope i can learn more in days to come. its very difficult to read this thread due to unknown terms, and terms that are defined properly in human language but may have different 'sense' when read by a budha. Thanks for all posters. Sorry, English is not my first language.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: santamonicacj on February 07, 2013, 11:47:17 am
Quote
It's very difficult to read this thread due to unknown terms, and terms that are defined properly in human language but may have different 'sense' when read by a budha. Thanks for all posters. Sorry, English is not my first language.
Try Googling unknown terms. Usually there is a hit. Often there is a Wikipedia article.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: NepalianBuddhist on February 08, 2013, 11:54:22 pm
Could be the supreme (Buddha) state of existence or being ...
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: pmsbdh on February 12, 2013, 03:03:48 pm
i'm considering to post my take on Nirvana [from my Christian point of view]. I think what i experienced was just Parallel [Most are alike] with Nirvana but it's NOT really Nirvana in true sense.

Since i read about Nirvana in this website at February 07, 2013,
2 strong spirits met me [among others, in dreams] and they indicated to submit under my 'authority' IF i move in xyz authority
1st spirit is ancient religion/cult [spider, he introduces Him Self with a clear name],
2nd spirit is modern armed force [lizard], don't know the term in buddish, Mara?

From this dream, i conclude that when reach Nirvana, someone MAY get special Unknown Power [from lower spirits] thus many Mara spirits will submit under His/Her Authority.
I believe Sakyamuni can control many lower spirits [or they are volunteering], likewise many modern monks, but i really scare with monks who control lower spirits but did NOT reach Nirvana, they can end up being control by those Mara and lost in them forever [and forget about Nirvana].

etc ... already drafted and will post it later, not sure, but exciting to find Nirvana in Buddism. How to test a person who claimed reached Nirvana? i guess i can build the checklist if read enough buddish texts, etc etc etc, exciting with Nirvana in Buddism, its so profound :headbow:
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Will on April 30, 2013, 09:22:14 am
Did not wade through the 22 pages of this thread, so if this book was mentioned already - sorry.  But in case not, one can download for free this compilation from Buddha's teachings:

http://www.holybooks.com/island-anthology-buddhas-teachings-nibbana/ (http://www.holybooks.com/island-anthology-buddhas-teachings-nibbana/)
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: NepalianBuddhist on April 30, 2013, 03:07:43 pm
I think I have a pretty good idea of what Nirvana is ... (Not the punk rock band) ..
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on May 01, 2013, 03:03:16 am
I think I have a pretty good idea of what Nirvana is ... (Not the punk rock band) ..

So could you tell us?
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: NepalianBuddhist on May 01, 2013, 10:21:30 am
I think I have a pretty good idea of what Nirvana is ... (Not the punk rock band) ..

So could you tell us?

Well, its the realm existing where there are no people. Just you (Kind of like Buddha) ...
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on May 02, 2013, 06:02:12 am
I think I have a pretty good idea of what Nirvana is ... (Not the punk rock band) ..

So could you tell us?

Well, its the realm existing where there are no people. Just you (Kind of like Buddha) ...

I'm not sure what you mean - is this based on a Buddhist teaching?
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: NepalianBuddhist on May 02, 2013, 11:25:43 am
I think I have a pretty good idea of what Nirvana is ... (Not the punk rock band) ..

So could you tell us?

Well, its the realm existing where there are no people. Just you (Kind of like Buddha) ...

I'm not sure what you mean - is this based on a Buddhist teaching?


Its nothing but more speculation about what Nirvana actually is.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Barah on May 03, 2013, 03:32:55 am
Nirvana is not speculation, nor something else. It is not a thing while not being nothing. It is always present, and never present at the same time. It is that which is without noticing "it is". Phenomenal world with all its elements is not Nirvana, nor part of Nirvana. It cannot be found inside, nor outside of the world. Mind is looking for the meaning of Nirvana, not Nirvana itself, that is why it will always fail. Going through the pile of meanings, mind is trying to join this whit that, investigate the characteristics of one, and components of another. Always trying to answer the questions "what is Nirvana?", or "is this Nirvana, or at least a part of it?". If the mind stops looking for meaning, it is naked, meaningless awareness. This is Nirvana. Untainted by the world, so unavailable for meaning, and nothing but no-meaning.
The only way to deliberately enter it through meaning, is by refuting meaning. Seeing everything without exception as meaningless. The donkey of karma will continue to pull the cart without the need of whipping either the donkey, or the cart. If there is no meaning in whipping them, there is no reason to do so, and nothing more more or less important to do. This is peace, not stress, one taste, beyond the highs and lows of conceptual reality.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: former monk john on May 03, 2013, 04:51:00 am
From my limited understanding, Nirvana is not a place or a thing, but rather a state of mind, beyond that it would be rather silly for someone that had never experienced the state of Nirvana to try and teach anyone what it is, ditto for enlightenment, just my opinion.......
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: BlueSky on May 03, 2013, 06:54:31 am
Nirvana is a name for reality as what it is.

Reality that we perceive is distorted, and that distorted perceived reality is named samsara.

Within that same reality, Buddhas perceive that reality precisely, and that precisely perceived reality is named nirvana.

For the same reality, nirvana and samsara are just a matter of seeing it correctly or wrongly.

Like perceiving mirage whether as water or not.

And therefore, the nature of nirvana is actually same with the nature of samsara, and vise versa.

The issue is simply correct recognition or not.

Just like there is nothing special in recognizing mirage is not water, there is also nothing special in recognizing nirvana not as this or that.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: former monk john on May 03, 2013, 07:28:27 am
like I said, unless you have fully experienced Nirvana, there's really no point in trying to teach someone what it is, as you just don't know.what it really is......
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: songhill on May 03, 2013, 09:01:02 am
Above all nirvana is transcendent. It is beyond the reach and range of Mara's five skandha and our senses including their objects.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on May 03, 2013, 09:23:31 am
It is isn't and isn't is. What? Never mind.  :fu:
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Barah on May 03, 2013, 10:54:53 am
From my limited understanding, Nirvana is not a place or a thing, but rather a state of mind, beyond that it would be rather silly for someone that had never experienced the state of Nirvana to try and teach anyone what it is, ditto for enlightenment, just my opinion.......
Nirvana is not a state of mind, it is no-mind. Mind has infinite number of states, nirvana is not one of them, because it is no-mind. When the mind drops off, it is nirvana. If nirvana would be a state of mind, it would come and go, so it would be conditioned. Nirvana does not come and go, it is only covered by the mind or not. Nirvana has no beginning or end, and it is unattainable by anyone. The only thing that can be done is dropping that which is delusively hold onto. And that is meaning. Meaning is nothing but grasping mind. Mind desires meaning. It constantly reaches out asking "what does it mean?". This is samsara.  When one drops meaning, mind is dropped like unneeded tool. But the accumulated karma will occupy this free space quickly, like unanswered question that desires to be answered, and the mind will be picked up to answer it. Until there is fuel, flame of the mind will burn. Knowing the empty nature of meaning, karma is not accumulated any more, and every bit of old karma is released after arising in the mind.
When a thought arises, apply "meaningless" with full confidence and it will be freed although unanswered.
If you cannot apply meaninglessness to a though, investigate it honestly. Find the meaning of every word, and ask yourself what does that mean. What does that mean, that something means something? Empty sound that people habitually learnt to react on, no matter what we are talking about. This way, meaning is shown to be empty of any true nature.
No matter what it means to have, or be a Self, it is empty, because meaning itself is empty. Self is perceived only through meaning, there is no self without it.
But... to let go of meaning requires bravery. To not know it so feel insecure. To not grasp with meaning, is to be devoid of control, and the mind fears that greatly.
Try to drop meaning, and fear will naturally arise, as fear is ignition in the engine of samsara. Be patient, face it until you break through, into insight.

Be ready to give it all up.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: former monk john on May 03, 2013, 11:24:41 am
For a person to have "no mind" their mind wouldn't be functioning, almost brain dead, enlightenment is about using your mind effectively, not putting it to sleep. An enlightened master with "no Mind" wouldn't be able to feed themselves or perform basic tasks, let alone brilliantly teach the Dharma, all that requires a mind, a mind that works very well, hopefully less influenced by delusion and folly like the rest of us.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Barah on May 03, 2013, 11:56:37 am
Mind is not dependent on you willing. You are not the lord of your karma, but merely a part of it. There is no you, that have "no-mind", because "no-mind" is not something to hold. Tasks are the result of good, or bad karma, not your grasping of the mind. And first of all, there are no enlightened masters. It is an oxymoron, unfortunately a popular one. Same goes for their brilliance in teaching the "Dharma", which actually cannot be taught. If they are so brilliant, why out of 350 mln practitioners, it is hard to pick few that are awakened? It is called a statistical error, not a brilliance.
Here, enjoy:
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche - path is faulty (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJESCSD70oQ#)
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: former monk john on May 03, 2013, 12:13:55 pm
The only Buddha that has no mind is the one in your avatar, Barah. Now if you want to redefine the mind as "delusional thinking" then you could get rid of that, but you still have a non delusional mind, or at least would if you were enlightened. The buddha taught literally hundreds of his followers to reach enlightenment, this is clearly recorded in the scriptures, for there to be no enlightened Buddhists today, one would have to have a very cynical view of some people's accomplishments. Now if you were to say there are no Buddha's living today then maybe you have more of a point, at least if you're talking Buddha's like Shakyamuni.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Barah on May 03, 2013, 12:47:58 pm
That statue in my avatar is... a statue of a person known as Buddha. And that person had his mind, no doubt. Tathagata is not an owner of the mind, nor something that appears in place of self. Mind is no more seen as me/mine, but it functions normally. Tathagata is not a source of the mind, nor the mind is a source of Tathagata. Mind can create a concept of Tathagata, which is in fact a great problem for practitioners.
Please, bearing my posts in mind, read Diamond Sutra.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: former monk john on May 03, 2013, 01:09:50 pm
At the risk of running around in circles it appears you're using your mind to move your fingers on the keyboard, you're not typing complete jibberish so you're using your mind to think about what you are saying, maybe, no obviously, you have a completely different defintion of what the mind is than I do, if your mind does not control your body and make it function, then what does and what do you call this thing that I and most people, I daresay, call the mind.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Barah on May 03, 2013, 01:19:53 pm
Of course it is the mind which controls the body and makes it function. It is driven by past karma and present conditions. You can even say, that is is your mind. But as I said before, "you" are just a set of concepts in your mind, so is it your mind, or you are minds property? Without mind, where are you? Now you see that you are the construct of the mind, not the owner. Neither mind, nor "you" is Tathagata and Tathagata is true being. Mind is vortex of karma, "self" is based on karma, and karma is based on meaning. Without meaning, there is no karma, so there is no self, and no-mind.  Pure awareness.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: NepalianBuddhist on May 03, 2013, 05:07:32 pm
I hope its good karma.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: BlueSky on May 06, 2013, 02:17:57 am
Quote
Now if you want to redefine the mind as "delusional thinking" then you could get rid of that, but you still have a non delusional mind, or at least would if you were enlightened

Actually, when we talk about mind, whether it is impure (delusional) mind or pure (non delusional) mind, both are faulty, both are mistaken.

Because in the first place, there is no such thing that you can pin point and say hey this is mind.

Scientiest talk so much about mind, but none of them until now can tell you where is the mind.

They say mind is in the brain. But, if they can say mind is in the brain, it means they can pin point where it is, which is in the brain.

But, this is the issue.

Where is the mind?
It is in the brain.

Which part of the brain?
Speechless!

Then, if you cannot tell me which part of brain, how can you say mind is in the brain???

You are like trying to eat your own spit. You claim to know where it is, but you don't know where it is.

Because the mind itself can never be found, whether it is impure or pure mind, both are mistaken.

Mind can only exist as a label on the basis of ignorant view of human. So, the basis of mind is mistaken concept, that only make sense if both my ignorant fantasy, and your ignorant fantasy match.

But, if you really want to true answer with the basis of scientific, there is no such thing called mind, whether pure mind or impure mind.

I and you can only discuss what Mickey Mouse is, if my fantasy of Mickey Mouse is same (matches) with your fantasy of Mickey Mouse.

But although I can talk with you about same Mickey Mouse, it is indeed a big big mistake to say that there is Mickey Mouse in reality.

This is exactly same with mind.

We can discuss mind, only and only if I and you have the same fantasy of mind, like the same fantasy of Mickey Mouse.

But, if you think because we can talk, then of course there is mind, this is like there is mickey mouse, because we can talk about it.

Mind is like Mickey Mouse.

Fantasy.

To set up a fantasy within the basis of free reality, can never stain the reality to have that fantasy.

You can create a doll of Mickey Mouse, you can do the show of Mickey Mouse, but no matter what you want to do, all your actions can never ever stain reality that there is such thing called Mickey Mouse.

Same thing with the mind.

No matter how you believe so, no matter how your society believe so, no matter how they convince so, if in the first place there is no mind, it is always no mind.

Once there is no self, no mind, there is always no self, and no mind.

No matter what you do.

And it is already like that in the past, in the present, and in the future.

Nirvana is in you now.

See it or miss it.

To create nirvana is foolish.
To go to nirvana is foolish.

Because it is already there and always there.


Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Barah on May 06, 2013, 05:17:29 am
Quote
To set up a fantasy within the basis of free reality, can never stain the reality to have that fantasy.
What do you mean by reality here? Material stuff?
Mickey Mouse is as real as the Moon, both are present. That is why you take the world from your dream as real. All comes down to experience before the mind. The mind cannot be seen, but the objects on its way can. That is the reason why mind should be seen as the reference point, not a result of brain activity.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: BlueSky on May 06, 2013, 05:33:54 am
As long as you can see the mind, as long as that as well you miss the reality, and you see the fantasy, which you think or believe is reality.

We must know first what is reality. Reality is free of any notions.

So, if you say mind, you must know reality has no mind, but mind is just a notion.



Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Barah on May 06, 2013, 05:43:43 am
Quote
We must know first what is reality. Reality is free of any notions.
So, you want to say that there are free floating notions, outside reality?
Reality is not dependent on notions, but can contain them freely. 
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: BlueSky on May 06, 2013, 05:47:53 am
Do you know reality has no notion of reality?
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Barah on May 06, 2013, 05:51:06 am
Yes, and because of that is shouldn't be called reality, as it is misleading.
Awareness has no awareness, or Buddha has no Buddha. But reality has reality, as one of three (matter, meaning, mind)
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: BlueSky on May 06, 2013, 05:52:45 am
The issue is if you don't use the word reality, how are you going to communicate with the person who believe and assert there is reality?
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Barah on May 06, 2013, 05:59:55 am
The issue is if you don't use the word reality, how are you going to communicate with the person who believe and assert there is reality?
There is reality and a person should be familiarized with the fact that everything is reality. This is the way to go beyond reality, into that which is not a thing. And the main rule should be understood, that is, that which comes and goes cannot be you, because you would come and go. Everything in reality comes and goes. That which does not come and go, is not reality.

Everything is reality, and reality is not Buddha.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: BlueSky on May 06, 2013, 06:55:00 am
Within reality, it can be classified into false reality and true reality.

False reality cannot be true even false reality is reality.

Anyone who asserts self or mind, although their false perception is reality, it is false reality.

So they are different.

Although in reality there is no true and false, true and false is always talked from ordinary perspective who assert true and false, and not from Buddha perspective who doesn't have view of false and true.







Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on May 06, 2013, 06:59:22 am
Buddhists are so funny  :lmfao:
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Barah on May 06, 2013, 07:22:32 am
Within reality, it can be classified into false reality and true reality.

False reality cannot be true even false reality is reality.

Anyone who asserts self or mind, although their false perception is reality, it is false reality.

So they are different.

Although in reality there is no true and false, true and false is always talked from ordinary perspective who assert true and false, and not from Buddha perspective who doesn't have view of false and true.
There is true and false in reality, you use it regularly. True and false relies on point of view, which is based on meaning. Buddha is beyond meaning, so beyond point of view, and beyond true and false. What reality is, or is not, is based on point of view, meaning, thus it remains in the domain of delusion.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: BlueSky on May 06, 2013, 08:16:36 am
When we discuss something, it is always in the domain of illusion.

Because if it is no longer in the domain of illusion, there is nothing to talk.

If we want to talk to people in Spain, use Spanish.

If we want to talk to ignorant people, use ignorant language.

Language can unlock language.

Concept can unlock concept.

So, what is the issue?



Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Barah on May 06, 2013, 08:52:20 am
Quote
When we discuss something, it is always in the domain of illusion.
I don't know what hides behind "illusion". Please define real and illusory, because I don't know how you can say that language is illusion, when billions use it. If something is not real, how can it be?
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: BlueSky on May 06, 2013, 05:52:55 pm
Reality is not like an illusion, but
Reality is illusion.
Reality is unreal.

If there is self, reality is real, but
If there is no self, reality is unreal.

Both real and unreal are happening, but
The difference between real and unreal is very obvious.

Unreal is free of any identity, including the notion of unreal, but
Real has an identity.

And none of reality is real.

Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Barah on May 06, 2013, 11:48:54 pm
Does it have any logical consistence for you?  :eek:

Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: BlueSky on May 07, 2013, 02:19:39 am
Why you say it is not logical?
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Barah on May 07, 2013, 02:56:31 am
Maybe because you wrote: "Reality is unreal.","Unreal is free of any identity", and then "Real has an identity".
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on May 07, 2013, 06:13:10 am
Maybe it's transcendental logic because he is in nirvana  :lmfao:
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Barah on May 07, 2013, 09:42:09 am
No need for mocking. We are discussing very difficult stuff here, and language happens to be a feeble medium.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: BlueSky on May 07, 2013, 04:46:28 pm
Maybe because you wrote: "Reality is unreal.","Unreal is free of any identity", and then "Real has an identity".

If you notice reality, ordinary being and enlightened being living in different reality, although reality cannot be two.

But that is what happening.

For example, in front of you has a car.

In the mind of ordinary beings, there is a car there standing out so vivid.

But for enlightened beings, although he see the car, but there is no car there.

So although the reality of car is there, but originate beings and enlightened beings living with different perspective of reality.

Reality from ordinary perspective and reality from enlightened perspective.

Between this two, the right perspective is the reality experienced by enlightened perspective.

As Chandrakirti said the reference shall be the one whose mind is free of defilements.

Like a jaundice people, he see reality reality of a white bowl as yellow. That is reality he is experiencing.

But that is wrong reality from the perspective of enlightened reality. However, we cannot avoid that for jaundice people the reality is he will see  that bowl as yellow.

We shall use the reality of people without the jaundice, as the correct reality.



Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: former monk john on May 07, 2013, 07:48:02 pm
While what you say may be true, unfortunately the one that doesn't see or perceive the car is often the first one to get run over by the car, makes you wonder just how important reality is, after all.........
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: BlueSky on May 07, 2013, 08:47:44 pm
This is the main problem and the main cause that obstruct us to break through human perspective and be ready for enlightened perspective.

Human. If they see a car, and you tell him there is no car. He will say, fine. Go there and I drive and hit you. Then you tell me is there a car or not.

If you keep maintain that view, there is no way you can penetrate the reality that there is no car there even it looks there is a car there.

You are what you think.

Because you there is a car, and you have believe it for so long, even in your dream, the illusory car will look so solid. Because of that, anything which in fact is illusory will look so real.

It is solid not because in reality it is solid, but because your mind make it solid.

Saraha said in his song for the king.

Because of your mind, even mountain will look solid.

If you keep maintain that, you won't experience any change.

It happened with one of the students of Chandrakirti.

This student in Nalanda university was walking and due to some reason, his head hit the tree. Chandrakirti was there and saw the event.

And then, this student said to him that you said this tree is empty, but I have proved it to you that this tree is not empty. It is real. If this tree is empty, I won't hit my head.

Then chandrakirti said something like oh really?

He then raised his hand and cut through the tree, and his hand just pass by the tree.

Now, with what perspective and what reality you want to believe?

You want to believe the reality shown by chandrakirti that reality is void of any essence, and therefore he can sway his hand passing through the tree, or

You want to believe the reality shown by you (who still have so many erroneous ideas), that reality is not void but has essence, because if I hit the tree my hand will be in pain and if a car hit me, I will die?

Again, as Chandrakirti said don't use your human reality as the reference and use that to try believe that is reality, but use higher beings (enlightened beings) reality as your reference.

If you do so, you are like a jaundice people who although still see thing as yellow but he knows it shall be white, and in the process of medication he will cure faster than the one who think it must be yellow, cannot be white.

If you use your current reference as your frame, it will be very hard to penetrate reality according to the view of Buddha, even you follow Buddhist teaching.

Change the reference, then follow the medicine (teachings), and you will get cure faster.

Don't use reality of ignorant human as the reference or benchmark. You won't cure or if you are lucky, will be very slow.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on May 07, 2013, 09:51:06 pm
...It happened with one of the students of Chandrakirti.

This student in Nalanda university was walking and due to some reason, his head hit the tree. Chandrakirti was there and saw the event.

And then, this student said to him that you said this tree is empty, but I have proved it to you that this tree is not empty. It is real. If this tree is empty, I won't hit my head.

Then chandrakirti said something like oh really?

He then raised his hand and cut through the tree, and his hand just pass by the tree.

Now, with what perspective and what reality you want to believe?
...
Whatever you want to believe I advise you to not believe fairy tales and the words of people who talk about their "reality"  all day long .  :fu:
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Barah on May 08, 2013, 02:52:43 am
But for enlightened beings, although he see the car, but there is no car there.
Are you talking about the lack meaning?
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: BlueSky on May 08, 2013, 03:08:47 am
The lack of meaning??? I am clear about that sentence.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Barah on May 08, 2013, 03:27:57 am
The lack of meaning??? I am clear about that sentence.
Yes, the lack of meaning. They see a car without applying all those labels. It this what you mean?
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: BlueSky on May 08, 2013, 03:33:15 am
How if this.

You go to a new place.

You stand there, open your eyes, and and rotate your head quickly.

What will happen?

You see.

But do you see or do you see as this or that?
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on May 08, 2013, 05:49:26 am
The lack of meaning??? I am clear about that sentence.
Yes, the lack of meaning. They see a car without applying all those labels. It this what you mean?

Is there really a problem with applying labels like "car"?  Or is the problem not realising that one is applying these labels?
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: BlueSky on May 08, 2013, 07:51:22 am
Label itself has no problem.

However, for ordinary beings like us, label is not just a label, label is more than that. And that is a problem.

We believe that there is indeed such thing, so not just a label. The reason is easy, because we can touch it.

For example, we can take a pebble. And because we can take a pebble, it is extremely convincing to believe that there is a substance in that pebble, because I can hold it. And because I can hold it, that substance is called pebble.

Many times, if we notice all words that we use, each words always refer to the self of that object.

When we say pebble, it is not just a label, but it is also the self of the pebble.

Extremely extremely difficult not to believe that although I can hold it up, there is no pebble both in terms of self and in terms of name.

So, that is a very difficult subject to know no self in the pebble.

However, we shall be aware that we shall not see reality from just 1 aspect. We shall see from all aspect.

It is too difficult to know that pebble doesn't have self.

So, we use another angle to solve the problem. Once we gain strength from that angle, slowly slowly we can see that although I can hold the pebble, it doesn't have self and name.

One of the example is sand house.

You know sand is simply sand. If the material is sand, no matter how it shapes, it will always be sand. It makes no sense that if we form like this or like that than new thing and new name can form. Simple, if the material is sand, the end product no matter how it looks must be sand, and no matter how it names, it must be sand.

Now, you make that sand like a castle or a house.

Then it is very critical here, that suddenly we will say that is house.

Now, can you see the insight here that although I can give that shape with the label of house, there is absolutely no house there. I don't care how it looks like, I don't care whether I can stay there and sleep there, and so on.

Why? It is very simple. If the material is sand, the end product must be sand. It cannot be house. Both the self of house and the name of house cannot exist. That house must have the self of sand and the name of sand. Because that is what it made from.

This is our normal logic.

Personally, I find this exercise is very helpful for me to see that although I see the house, I can stay inside the house, I can paint the house, I can buy the house, I can sell the house, I can knock my head in the wall, I can utter the word house, my friend believe that is house, my mother believe that is house, my society believe that is house, everyone believe that is house, and so on,

At the end, if I also believe that is a house, that is the most idiot person on earth.

The reason is very simple. How can suddenly the self of house appear if the material is sand?

If I want to believe, I will never say that as a house. Instead I will say that as sand.

This is just the logic and why it is impossible there is such thing called house both from the self of house itself and the name or label of house itself.

This is just the example for the house. And we can do it for sand, water, yourself, your body, and so on.

At the end of this exercise, you will see it indeed true what Buddha said that this reality in indeed free of any concrete stuff and any name.

Anyway, this is simply one of my personal intellectual exercise that is useful for myself in seeing how I myself get deluded with essence and name.

Back to the house.

So, although you know there is no such thing called a house, if you really know there is no such thing called a house both as an entity and also as a name, even you use a label house, there is no harm for yourself.

Because that label cannot rise an illusion as if there is such thing called house.

But for others, who do not know the insight, it is harmful for them. Because the more the utter this word, the more they believe there is such thing called a house.

If you get the logic, you will see why words can be so poisonous. It absolutely block you to see the emptiness of house.

Once we get used to this exercise, you can see now that when you hold a pebble, previously it is very very difficult to hold the pebble in your hand, and then think or see directly that  there is no peeble in my hand; now it is easier.

The rest is just a matter of accustomed to this new way of seeing. Initially, they are plenty of protest in yourself, but it will be much easier later.

It is indeed very important to notice the process of how we make a mistake, because if we can see that process, it is much easier to know how to rectify it.

There is absolutely no doubt that reality is free of this or that. Although I personally cannot see it now. 

Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: former monk john on May 08, 2013, 05:36:25 pm
Just wondering Blue Sky, what's you opinion on intoxicants and in particular, psychedelics????
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: BlueSky on May 08, 2013, 06:44:10 pm
There is a story of Zen master, Soko Morinaga.

When he just started to become the monk of Zen, the teacher ask him to clean the garden. Then after he cleaned the garden, he asked his teacher where shall I throw the trash?

Then the teacher said there is no trash.

Then, he was so confused. What do you mean no trash? Can't you see that?


------ (this is what we normally think as well, isn't it. Giving a label)

The teacher asked him to take the plastic bag from another room.

And the teacher said collect that and we use that as the fuel to cook water.

------- then from here he start to see the insight a little bit. 

As we can see reality doesn't have the identity of this or that. If we don't know that, and due to our ignorant, we put the identity on reality which is free of identity, we are simply looking a problem for ourselves.

By the time we see that falling leaf as trash, do you notice that the spacious reality is now covered by your illusion that it must be trash?

At that instant, your suffering start.

And in this case, that suffering is you only see that as trash, and you cannot think that as anything else, except to throw it a way. Once you label that as trash, you see that as useless.

This is the problem in our life.

In we label what we see, we confine our view to just that. And then we will suffer, because we can no longer see thing from other perspective.

We think we are very smart, can create so many things, but at the same time that smartness makes us become stupid, and cannot see reality currently.

And the worst is we don't know that we are making ourselves stupid. Unknown for aeons and aeons.

Ignorant is unknown to us, unless it is pointed by someone to us. Then we some sort of awake, oh yes, so stupid constraining ourselves UNNECESSARILY.

Back to the topic, because the zen master doesn't have any ideas that reality is like this or that, he is extremely open to see reality from countless angles.

This is like water. If we see water in the bowl and then say the shape of water is like a bowl, then at that time we may have a problem to think like oh since the shape of water is like a bowl (because you label so), you may have a problem that oh I cannot put that in the tube now, because the shape is different.

But if we know reality is free of this or that, this is like we know the water doesn't have the shape like this or that.

BECAUSE OF THAT, Everything is possible.

What Nagarjuna said is precisely correct.

If reality is not empty, you won't see diversity.

If by seeing diversity, instead of knowing therefore reality must be empty (free from this or that), but you think because of diversity then reality must be this or that, then in this case you no longer know reality, what you know is your illusions.

All problems in life will then start to come. And you suffer. Ironically, you suffer because of wrong view.

Back to the topic.

Because this Zen master know reality is empty, therefore it has countless way of seeing thing, this master is free from the fixation that that stock of leaves is trash.

His mind is open to all thing.

Therefore, he can see that stock of leaves as fuel for example.

-----

Because reality is empty, free of character, it is absolutly wrong for us to think this is trash, or this is fuel, or even this is leaf.

Why? Because reality doesn't have that character. Empty.

We shall not become the victim that if reality is full of diversity, then reality has character.

This is exactly like thinking because water can be put in the bowl, hen the character of water is like bowl.

If you are free from any notion that this is like this or that, you are open and won't be deluded.

Instead all diversity becomes the source if your wisdom.

The more you see diversity, the more you realize emptiness.

Reality is extremely "liquid".

Longchenpa said this correctly, reality is like the blow of wind without any particles.

The particle is the parable for fixation or self.

Absolutely correct, reality is extremely "liquid" like the blow f wind without any small particles. Therefore it is free from this and that, and therefore it has multiple diversity.

Now, back to your topic.

From here, do you still think intoxicant as intoxicant? Harmful?

That character come from you or from society?

Does it come from your view?

But think about this: your limited view like the zen student?
Or the unlimited (ocean) view like the master?

You shall find this answer for yourself.

Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: BlueSky on May 08, 2013, 06:49:00 pm
.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: former monk john on May 08, 2013, 09:24:56 pm
Actually it comes from the buddha, intoxicants cloud your mind and prohibit you from realizing enlightenment, you don't agree, it figures........
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Barah on May 09, 2013, 12:54:55 am
How if this.

You go to a new place.

You stand there, open your eyes, and and rotate your head quickly.

What will happen?

You see.

But do you see or do you see as this or that?
Knowing things through meaning develops expectations, which are the basis of suffering. If you go to a new place, you still can compare it with previously seen places. Will removing labels also remove expectations? Without labels, you still have to deal with feelings. Applying right view, one can deal with that.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: BlueSky on May 09, 2013, 01:43:12 am
Removing the label is not the point.

The point is realizing, there is no label in the first place.

Without knowing that, trying to remove the label is trying to separate heat from fire.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: BlueSky on May 09, 2013, 01:46:56 am
Actually it comes from the buddha, intoxicants cloud your mind and prohibit you from realizing enlightenment, you don't agree, it figures........

When you ask about intoxicant, are you asking about the nature of intoxicant itself? Or the effect of intoxicant to human body?

For example, are you asking about the nature of alcohol itself or are you asking about the effect of alcohol to human body?

They are different question.

Now, how if you answer this:

What is the nature of alcohol itself? Good or bad?
When you drink something containing alcohol, and you get drunk, that alcohol is good or bad?
But when you use that alcohol to clean the wound, that alcohol is good or bad?

How if you use alcohol to clean your toilet, and your toilet become clean, is that alcohol good or bad?

Last one, just from alcohol itself, what is the characteristic? Good, bad, or what?




Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Barah on May 09, 2013, 01:50:20 am
Removing the label is not the point.

The point is realizing, there is no label in the first place.

Without knowing that, trying to remove the label is trying to separate heat from fire.
What do you mean by "there is no label"?
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: BlueSky on May 09, 2013, 02:25:28 am
For example the label table.

Is the label table come from you or from the table?

Are you the one who tell the table, your name is table, or is it the table that tell you my name is table?

If you don't give a label, how can you have a label???

If reality in its naked condition has label, you don't need to give a label, it will give it to you.

If we put a label then say reality now has label then has label, then that is human illusion.

Reality in its original state free from any defilements.





Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Barah on May 09, 2013, 02:43:48 am
Quote
If you don't give a label, how can you have a label???
And if you give a label, how can you have no label?
Your explanation seems to be materialistic.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: BlueSky on May 09, 2013, 03:17:21 am
Ok, how about this.

Within this reality, which is impermanent, within label, is there label?

Within the sound, is there sound?
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: anando on May 09, 2013, 04:08:45 am
 :r4wheel:
Nirvana is a certain state of mind, also called the realm of Nothingness. G. Buddho formulated it very shortly:"Nothing is here."
On the other hand Nirvana is the sixth step of the 8 freeings(Jhanas).
Nirvana is not the last state of mind.

sakko
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: former monk john on May 09, 2013, 04:37:58 am
Actually it comes from the buddha, intoxicants cloud your mind and prohibit you from realizing enlightenment, you don't agree, it figures........

When you ask about intoxicant, are you asking about the nature of intoxicant itself? Or the effect of intoxicant to human body?

For example, are you asking about the nature of alcohol itself or are you asking about the effect of alcohol to human body?

They are different question.

Now, how if you answer this:

What is the nature of alcohol itself? Good or bad?
When you drink something containing alcohol, and you get drunk, that alcohol is good or bad?
But when you use that alcohol to clean the wound, that alcohol is good or bad?

How if you use alcohol to clean your toilet, and your toilet become clean, is that alcohol good or bad?

Last one, just from alcohol itself, what is the characteristic? Good, bad, or what?


obviously the buddha was refering to you drinking the alcohol, not cleaning your toilet, you've avoided the question, which appears to infer you support taking intoxicants, which was the reason for my concern, given the expansiveness of your comments.......
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Barah on May 09, 2013, 04:56:14 am
Quote
Ok, how about this.

Within this reality, which is impermanent, within label, is there label?

Within the sound, is there sound?
If we try to find something inside, we will. That's how science works. But I think you are asking about something else, like inherent nature. Is it so?
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: former monk john on May 09, 2013, 05:40:26 am
Its a long way to go from "car" is just a label that we put on somethings that drives us around, to "car" is something that can't run us over because it doesn't exist and we are enlightened!!!
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: BlueSky on May 09, 2013, 06:20:52 am
Quote

obviously the buddha was refering to you drinking the alcohol, not cleaning your toilet, you've avoided the question, which appears to infer you support taking intoxicants, which was the reason for my concern, given the expansiveness of your comments.......

So now I ask you, it is the intoxicant is the culprit, or is it drinking the intoxicant is the culprit?

How about the intoxicant itself (dont drink it, but just put it on the table)? Put the intoxicant on the table, stare it, and ask it, are you bad or are you good? Then, probably you can tell me at least, what answer do you get?

Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: BlueSky on May 09, 2013, 06:23:55 am
Quote

If we try to find something inside, we will.


Really????

How if you listen to a sound and try to find what is inside?



Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: former monk john on May 09, 2013, 07:08:34 am
Quote

obviously the buddha was refering to you drinking the alcohol, not cleaning your toilet, you've avoided the question, which appears to infer you support taking intoxicants, which was the reason for my concern, given the expansiveness of your comments.......

So now I ask you, it is the intoxicant is the culprit, or is it drinking the intoxicant is the culprit?

How about the intoxicant itself (dont drink it, but just put it on the table)? Put the intoxicant on the table, stare it, and ask it, are you bad or are you good? Then, probably you can tell me at least, what answer do you get?


No, being drunk, high, f'd up, and coming up with a bunch of nonsense, that would be the problem........
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: BlueSky on May 09, 2013, 08:10:37 am
Ok.

So, do you agree if I say that according to yourself, the intoxicant itself is innocent, but when you drink that intoxicant, it is the effect of the end process is bad.

I need your confirmation before we can move forward.

Because we need to be very clear and very precise, intoxicant, drinking intoxicant, and the effect of drinking intoxicant are 3 different things.

Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: former monk john on May 09, 2013, 06:34:31 pm
The buddha made it quite clear that being intoxicated was the bad thing, he never made any statements about intoxicants in and of themselves being bad unless they were ingested, I thought you would have known that already......
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: BlueSky on May 09, 2013, 06:59:52 pm
Ok. Let's change that intoxicant with alcohol.

Now, did Buddha said we shall not drink alcohol in all situation or only in a situation where the effect of alcohol can cause you to lost your awareness?

Or do you assume that because Buddha said we cannot drink alcohol, then we cannot drink that in all condition without any exception, which in this case "in all conditions" is your assumption?
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: former monk john on May 09, 2013, 09:42:10 pm
Traditionally, Most devout buddhists interpret the precept to mean no intoxicants, the more prone to rationalization seem to think it was being intoxicated that was bad, not using lesser amounts of intoxicants. My 2c worth, either you're sober or your not, if you're not sober, I'd prefer not to be lectured by you about the higher teachings of buddhism like enlightenment and Nirvana.

I should point out that the state of California considers more than two drinks to impair driving, so I must assume it has no positive effects on meditation or acheiving enlightenment, either.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Barah on May 09, 2013, 11:29:15 pm
Quote

If we try to find something inside, we will.


Really????

How if you listen to a sound and try to find what is inside?
Yes, that's what I was asking about. Science will find sound waves, but not through listening, but by using the mind. The thing is,  "listening to a sound" is already minds invention. And what is the essence of the working mind? What are the building blocks of thoughts made of? Meaning. Mind is always looking for the meaning, because this is its building material. Now, it is not about removing meaning out of the whole picture. It is through seeing emptiness of meaning, that we transcend both thoughts and no thoughts without the need of eliminating anything.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: BlueSky on May 10, 2013, 12:39:46 am
If we find something during listening the sound, we are not listening to the sound, but we are listening to the thought.

However, if you have an ability to ignore the thought and just being in the middle of sound and thought, you will see the harmonious of empty essence and appearances.

During that moment, you will know without knower and without knowing.

Knower is your Concept.
Knowing is also one of your concept.

If you can ignore them, and just leave them there, you will find the harmony between emptiness and appearances.

When you are in that harmony, you will see everything extremely spacious yet everything appears harmoniously, like the play of winds without a single solid dust.

But, if you lost that harmony, even just a bit, you will assert it is appearances, or it is emptiness, and at that instance, what you are experiencing is like in the middle of the wind with solid dusts.

You can't know this by thinking.

By the time you find the harmonious, you will know that nothing to be abandon. Whatever do you, will not increase that harmony, whatever you do will not decrease that harmony.

Everything is already as perfect as there are, vividly in front of you.

The best way to sink in the quick sand is by keep moving, by efforts.
And the best way to lost this harmony is also by effort, by trying as if there is this soils dust to be removed.

In case, we can't do that, extremely aware when your just sneeze, that few seconds is the time where that harmony appear naturally. Recognize that.

However, since we don't know that, we will use effort to entertain the thoughts. And that is the best moment we lost that harmony.

When you are in that harmony, you will know yourself the mistake of label and the mistake of definition, and mistake of efforts. 

Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Barah on May 10, 2013, 01:02:59 am
Quote
If we find something during listening the sound, we are not listening to the sound, but we are listening to the thought.

However, if you have an ability to ignore the thought and just being in the middle of sound and thought, you will see the harmonious of empty essence and appearances.
That's a thought.

I see no problem with your description of what it is. I am only interested in the cause of this transformation, and the source of stress. Everything before is meaning, everything after is poetry. What is the point in which meaning looses its appealing value? What causes grasping before, and how is it removed. Many pass this point without noticing it, but they will return into stress and despair sooner, or later when conditions change. The cause of this grasping was called "thief", "watchman", or "Mara". But those are poetic term. What are they from the "meaning" perspective?
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on May 10, 2013, 01:31:22 am
If we find something during listening the sound, we are not listening to the sound, but we are listening to the thought.

I think there is the experience of sound, and then our reaction to it, eg like, dislike etc.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: BlueSky on May 10, 2013, 01:34:58 am
Quote
That's a thought.

That can be a thought.

But it is not necessary a thought.

If you lost that harmony, that is thought.
But if you don't lost the harmony, you will know for yourself that it is not a thought, AND NOT EVEN ANYTHING ELSE.

Only you yourself will know that is a thought or not.

A thought can appear as a thought and can also appear not as this or not as that.

And the key is not in the absence of thought like what so many meditators trying so hard day and night to have a meditation without a thought, but

The key is in that harmony.

And when you are in that harmony, thought is no longer a thought. It is also not anything else.

A thought is not a thought, is a sentence that logically makes no sense. So, you shall not try to take it literally.

But, by the time you are in that harmony, you will understand.

Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Barah on May 10, 2013, 02:00:51 am
I think we are passing by each other.
Quote
But, by the time you are in that harmony, you will understand.
Harmony is not looking, and to look is to search for an answer. This way, when you are in harmony, there is full understanding, always. This understanding is inherent, not an effect of looking. Understanding = not looking, nothing more. Now I can apply it, or keep on asking. If I apply I will be in harmony, but without knowing the answer. Those who cannot understand, needs to have the cause removed, and those are 99%. To remove the cause you need to know it, by answering. So what is the answer?
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: BlueSky on May 10, 2013, 02:03:53 am
Is there answer if you know?
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: BlueSky on May 10, 2013, 02:15:44 am
I think this will be useful.

This is the teaching found in the cave, which was discovered about 100 years ago.

Emmon: "how can delusions of sentient beings be eradicated?"
Master: "as long as one sees delusions and THEIR ERADICATIONS, one cannot shed them."

Master: "as long as one thinks of being at one with and not being at one with, one is not free of delusions"
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Barah on May 10, 2013, 02:46:58 am
Quote
Is there answer if you know?
I think there is, but I don't know for sure, as I don't know it.
We can track it down with explanation of the craving provided by Buddhas. The problem is, that the answer is "poetical" and focused on releasing single beings, not by providing the answer. Craving is caused by expectations. Expectations are based on classification of past experiences as good, or bad etc.. (Karma). We also know, that we are raised according to some specific rules. We are taught what is good and what is bad. So, the problem is implanted in us all, through environment and past karma.
Hmm...
That would imply, that the cause is beyond our reach, and cannot be removed easily. It would take many lifetimes in "sterile" conditions to remove that karma. Now I understand that the answer is somehow useless when it comes to solving the problem during one lifetime. Applying oneself to harmony is the only way.

Very fruitful conversation.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: songhill on May 11, 2013, 11:04:02 am
"Not only is Nibbana timeless, it is the ultimate reality and the truly real is eternal. Nibbana is the changeless, the immortal. It is transphenomenal, beyond thought and does not rest on any other. It is without limits or measure, infinite" (Pande, Origins of Buddhism, 473–475).
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: riju on May 12, 2013, 10:08:38 pm
EMPTINESS rains down on all sentients giving life to them without differentiating between wrong or right.

NIRVAN rains WISDOM down only on Buddha sentients according to their size. All Buddhas enter Nirvana after completing their work in existence. Praytekabuddha enter Nirvan without helping other sentients. Buddhas enter Nirvan after a very very long time. During this long time they create, control, help a universe of sentients. The longer time they stay and expand this universe the larger is the number of sentients who are benefitted. (Lotus sutra)
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: riju on May 12, 2013, 10:31:04 pm
NIRVAN

Imagine a mind ball of Nirvan.
Surround it with huge mind balls of bhoddisattvas layer after layer.
In the outer layer surround it with mind balls of devotees of Bhuddhas and Bhoddisattvas.
Still in outer layer surround it with mind balls of laymen or sentients who are bhuddists by precepts.

Nirvan is like a Adi Buddha. Lotus sutra mentions in one of chapters that life of this Adi Buddha is almost infinite (chapter 16 --Life span of Thus come one).
Every Buddha entering the Nirvan adds life and strength to Adi Buddha (Nirvan).

Many religions and Gods create their own such systems, but they die away at end of a certain period.
As far as I know no other religion or God can claim infinite life. But neither Lotus sutra nor I can explain this logic in words. Only through meditation experience one can confirm this.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: riju on May 12, 2013, 10:42:07 pm
Life of EMPTINESS is infinite.
Life of Nirvan is almost infinite and is moving towards infinite.

EMPTINESS is colourless, odourless, physicalless, mindless, logicless,wisdomless....less....less and less.
Nirvan is almost EMPTINESS surrounded by Buddha energies so that it does not get lost in EMPTINESS.
Due to this process  systemetic WISDOM  oriented universes are created from earlier experiences and these universes go on building better and better one upon the other.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: riju on May 12, 2013, 11:24:36 pm
NIRVAN is an extraordinary concept of Bhuddism.

Buddha of the past studied and understood that "NOTHING IS PERMANENT".
They saw many Gods of past with their own devotees and space and universe die away with time.
They understood the timeless WISDOM of creations coming up and dying away.

They studied all this process and then created concept of multi number of SONS surrounding the would be Buddhas. These Buddha sons were guided to Buddha wisdoms and then the Buddhas sacrificed themselves as per the law of IMPERMANENCE in  NIRVAN.
A Buddha fades away in NIRVAN showering away all HIS wisdom to his SONS who surround HIM.

Nirvan concept was started by Buddha Sun Moon Bright with the help of 8 SONS long long time back (chapter Introduction --Lotus sutra)
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: 5155035 on July 20, 2013, 06:57:02 am
The one who seeks will endlessly seek. The one who is already there says he needs more and is not where he believes himself to be.

Lets pack our bags and head for Nirvana. Each day we shall empty the bag of something, climbing 10 feet higher each day, shedding finally the bag, until we are the top of the mountain with nothing but the view. Then what? Just sit and stare? Sure is pretty.

To my understanding it would be a state where peace and contentment underlie and pervade the perpetuating existance. If its sought, surely there exists a desire to achieve Nirvana? I thought desire was the cause of suffering? If it is not actively sought, how does one attain such a state? Whatever Nirvana is, it is best spoken of by those who have climbed the mountain, if such a trial was required at all.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on July 20, 2013, 07:26:04 am
You would not like what they talk.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: ground on July 20, 2013, 07:36:01 am
... If its sought, surely there exists a desire to achieve Nirvana? I thought desire was the cause of suffering? ...
Desire may be right or wrong depending on the desired. Suffering is the cause of desiring cessation of suffering. Without desire being directed towards that right goal desire will be directed towards wrong goals and objects.  :fu:
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: songhill on July 20, 2013, 09:37:24 am
NIRVAN is an extraordinary concept of Bhuddism.

Buddha of the past studied and understood that "NOTHING IS PERMANENT".
They saw many Gods of past with their own devotees and space and universe die away with time.
They understood the timeless WISDOM of creations coming up and dying away.

They studied all this process and then created concept of multi number of SONS surrounding the would be Buddhas. These Buddha sons were guided to Buddha wisdoms and then the Buddhas sacrificed themselves as per the law of IMPERMANENCE in  NIRVAN.
A Buddha fades away in NIRVAN showering away all HIS wisdom to his SONS who surround HIM.

Nirvan concept was started by Buddha Sun Moon Bright with the help of 8 SONS long long time back (chapter Introduction --Lotus sutra)

The Buddha taught all conditionality is impermanent. But he never taught that there is no unconditioned absolute. The Buddha never, actually, fades away, either. Since he is not conditioned but unconditioned, he is still with us.  :)
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: 5155035 on July 20, 2013, 10:05:18 am
You would not like what they talk.

I can live with that.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Hanzze on July 20, 2013, 10:50:36 am
You would not like what they talk.

I can live with that.
With what? That you would not like or that you would not like that you would not like? Or that they sometimes talk nevertheless?

Cool word by the way... never then less  :D
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: kong zen on June 20, 2014, 08:16:08 am
What is nirvana?
If you are a scholar,
Can you discuss this problem very well,
But if you're a yogi,
To explore this question is meaningless,
Discussion is derived from logical reasoning, and imagination,
Nirvana is a fact of experience,
Logic is limited, nirvana is infinite,
With limited logic cannot measure the infinite wisdom,
It's like a group of people who have never been to the top of the mountain, talking about the top of the mountain is what appearance,
If you want to know what it is like,
In accordance with the dharma to practice,
To cease from evil, To do only good, To purify the will,
Hope you like here below some knowledge,www.zenspeaking.com

I wish you all good lucky for you,
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: healthandpeace on February 15, 2015, 09:55:07 pm
samsara and nirvana are one, seen at the highest view.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Dharmakara on February 15, 2015, 10:31:51 pm
Oh, I suspect that most Theravada practitioners would disagree, though it actually reminds me of something funny that the Ven. Shravasti Dhammika said several years ago during an interview by the Non-duality Magazine (NDM):

Quote
NDM: Is samsara also nirvana like they say in some traditions?
 
S. Dhammika: This idea is not present in the Pali Canon. I always find such paradoxical and enigmatic statements very appealing. The same goes for those wonderful Zen koans. But as far as the situation on the ground is concerned I think they are pretty useless. If samsara and Nirvana are the same what the hell is the point of becoming a pilgrim on the Noble Eightfold Path or indeed doing anything? I suppose I'm rather dualistic. But I'm content to be because I suspect that those who go on about samsara and Nirvana being the same are in fact just as dualistic as I am.

[url]http://www.nondualitymagazine.org/nonduality_magazine.celibacyproject.shravastidhammika.htm[/url]


Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Roope on February 24, 2015, 03:03:23 am
samsara and nirvana are one, seen at the highest view.

No statement is really true.

What is samsara but an idea? And what is Nirvana (for you right now) but an idea?

edit:

I'm reading Huang Po's writings and noticed some quotes about Nirvana:

"If one thinks that emptiness is an entity and that this emptiness is separate from the Dharmakaya or that there is a Dharmakaya outside of emptiness, one is holding a wrong view.  In the complete absence of views about emptiness (*or anything else, including Nirvana), the true Dharmakaya appears.  Emptiness and Dharmakaya are not different.  Sentient beings and Buddhas are not different. Birth and death and Nirvana are not different. Klesa and Bodhi are not different.  That alone which is beyond all form is Buddha."

"What is perfect Nirvana?  Perfect Nirvana is the sudden understanding that one's own nature is original Buddha and True Mind.  It is the sudden realization that there is neither Buddha nor sentient beings, neither subject nor object.  If this present place is illusion city, where then is perfect Nirvana? Perfect Nirvana cannot be pointed out because we are only able to point out a place.  Whatever is thought of as a place cannot be the condition of true, perfect Nirvana.  One can give indications as to which direction it lies in, but one cannot give a definite location.  However, one may come to a correct and silent understanding of it."
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Sriramani on March 17, 2015, 09:36:14 pm
There is no nirvana. The word is designed to express the experience (or non-experience) of Self - that is the greater, or universal "Self" - once the ego is dropped. It is what remains after thought subsists, and is simply Emptiness, or the absence of small self, small mind or small "I". While "it" may be experienced directly, that experience cannot be conveyed in words, as it is infinite.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Dharmakara on March 17, 2015, 11:06:48 pm
Quote
Advaita Vedanta and Zen Buddhism: Deconstructive Modes of Spiritual Inquiry
by Leesa S. Davis / A&C Black Publishers (2010) pp. 74-76


According to the Mahayana, all phenomena are empty, unborn, non-dual and possess no self-nature. In the second chapter of the Lanka, the Bodhisattva Mahamati asks the Buddha to elaborate on these four fundamental Mahayana tenets:

Tell me, Blessed One, how all things are empty, unborn, non-dual, and have no self-nature, so that I and other Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas might be awakened in the teaching of emptiness, no-birth, non-duality and the absence of self-nature, and quitting the discrimination of being and non-being, quickly realise the highest enlightenment. (Suzuki, 1999, p. 65)

The Buddha responds by instructing Mahamati to 'listen well and reflect upon what I tell you'.

Emptiness, emptiness, indeed! Mahamati, it is a term whose self-nature is false imagination. Because of one's attachment to false imagination, Mahamati, we have to talk of emptiness, no-birth, non-duality, and absence of self-nature. (Suzuki, 1999, p. 65)

The Buddha begins by refusing to grant the term 'emptiness' any ontological substance. The term 'emptiness' is a concept, with a 'falsely imagined' self-nature, and it is because of attachment to these falsely imagined constructions that we have to talk about emptiness, no-birth, non-duality and absence of self-nature. Here, the Buddha warns Mahamati of the provisional nature of all concepts and the inherent discriminating that is involved in any act of naming. The terms themselves possess no inherent substance and should not be granted any. In short, in a deconstructive move reminiscent of one of the central premises of Nagarjuna's MMK, the Buddha is saying that emptiness as a term is 'empty'.

According to the Buddha, the teaching that 'all things are unborn' does not mean that things are not born but that they are not born of themselves', that is, that they have no intrinsic self-nature that ontologically substantializes them:

To have no self-nature is, according to the deeper sense, to be unborn, Mahamati. That all things are devoid of self-nature means that there is a constant and uninterrupted becoming, a momentary change from one state of existence to another; seeing this, Mahamati, all things are destitute of self-nature. So one speaks of all things having no self-nature. (Suzuki, 1999, p. 67)

To be devoid of self-nature, i.e., to possess no enduring, changeless, substance, is to be in constant, uninterrupted becoming, in momentary change from one state of existence to another. Here the Buddha is describing reality as process and pointing to the basic Buddhist doctrines of anitya (impermanence) and pratityasamutpada (dependent co-origination) in which all phenomena rise and fall in a process of constant change yet in themselves possess no qualities of constancy or essence. Thus, for the Buddha, emptiness, the unborn, and no self-nature are indicators pointing the student to the flux of reality-in-process that, properly understood, cannot be objectified into solid ontological entities. Mahamati has asked the Buddha to explain how all things are 'empty, unborn, non-dual and have no self-nature so that he can stop the discrimination of being and non-being and quickly realize the highest enlightenment'. His question indicates that he has understood that discriminating between being and non-being is what is 'stopping' him from `realizing the highest enlightenment' and that a 'correct' understanding of the 'true' nature of things (i.e., empty, unborn, non-dual, with no self-nature) would dissolve all such obstructive discrimination. There is, however, a subtle objectification of the concepts of emptiness, unborn, and so on, that the Buddha immediately moves to undermine by emphasizing the empty and provisional nature of concepts and the impermanence and constant change of all reality. The `highest enlightenment' is not a 'thing' to be 'grasped' nor is it to be conceived in a dualistic relationship to some kind of unenlightened state. In his articulation of non-duality the Buddha makes this point clear:

[W]hat is meant by non-duality? It means that light and shade, long and short, black and white, are relative terms, Mahamati, and not independent of each other; as Nirvana and Samsara are, all things are not two. There is no Nirvana except where is Samsara; there is no Samsara except where is Nirvana; for the condition of existence is not of mutually-exclusive character. Therefore, it is said that all things are non-dual as are Nirvana and Samsara. (Suzuki, 1999, pp. 67-68)

'All things', says the Buddha, 'are not two.' Here the Buddha details the interdependent nature of all conceptual dualisms including the dualism of nirvana and sainsara; enlightened and unenlightened. That is, reality objectified into polarized dualistic pairings is not 'reality-as-it-is', 'for the condition of existence is not of mutually-exclusive character'. Thus, like all discriminated dichotomies, the concept nirvana cannot exist apart from its counterpart sarpsara. The Buddha has 'answered' Mahamati's question by deconstructing any objectifications he may harbour about liberation itself: liberated knowledge is knowledge free of conceptual distinctions. The undermining of nirvana and samsara as static dualistic entities to be attained or rejected is a pivotal Mahayana Buddhist deconstructive strategy that serves as the cornerstone of the logical demolition of dichotomous views in Nagarjuna's MMK and the deconstructive dynamic behind much of Dogen's phenomenological non-dual expressions.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Roope on March 18, 2015, 01:55:59 am
Quote
Mahamati has asked the Buddha to explain how all things are 'empty, unborn, non-dual and have no self-nature so that he can stop the discrimination of being and non-being and quickly realize the highest enlightenment'. His question indicates that he has understood that discriminating between being and non-being is what is 'stopping' him from `realizing the highest enlightenment' and that a 'correct' understanding of the 'true' nature of things (i.e., empty, unborn, non-dual, with no self-nature) would dissolve all such obstructive discrimination.

And it's good to remember and understand this very simple fact that discrimination, along with everything else, is only thought and nothing more.

No thought, no problem. But also "No belief and mental involvement in any thoughts whatsoever, no problem.".
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Dharmakara on March 18, 2015, 02:11:07 am
It's also good to remember that we're on a Buddhist forum, where the Vedic notion of "universal self" (Brahman=Atman) only further muddies the waters.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Roope on March 18, 2015, 02:46:08 am
It's also good to remember that we're on a Buddhist forum, where the Vedic notion of "universal self" (Brahman=Atman) only further muddies the waters.

I said nothing about what you are talking about.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Dharmakara on March 18, 2015, 03:12:10 am
And likewise I said nothing about what you said, but pointing out that I posted the excerpt in reference to Sri Ramani's use of the term "universal self" --- in other words, he wasn't exactly clear about how he was using it, not to mention that his choice of username gives the impression that his understanding might be more informed through the Vedic tradition than Buddhism.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Roope on March 18, 2015, 03:24:27 am
Sorry, my bad then.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Dharmakara on March 18, 2015, 03:27:18 am
It's okay... I can see how my statement could have been taken that way  :)
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on March 18, 2015, 06:14:27 am
Quote
'All things', says the Buddha, 'are not two.' Here the Buddha details the interdependent nature of all conceptual dualisms including the dualism of nirvana and samsara; enlightened and unenlightened. That is, reality objectified into polarized dualistic pairings is not 'reality-as-it-is', 'for the condition of existence is not of mutually-exclusive character'. Thus, like all discriminated dichotomies, the concept nirvana cannot exist apart from its counterpart sarpsara. The Buddha has 'answered' Mahamati's question by deconstructing any objectifications he may harbour about liberation itself: liberated knowledge is knowledge free of conceptual distinctions. The undermining of nirvana and samsara as static dualistic entities to be attained or rejected is a pivotal Mahayana Buddhist deconstructive strategy that serves as the cornerstone of the logical demolition of dichotomous views in Nagarjuna's MMK and the deconstructive dynamic behind much of Dogen's phenomenological non-dual expressions.


I find this summary interesting in that "dualism" is rarely if ever discussed in The Suttas, or in the Theravadin Commentaries. 

Also, in physical science the concept of pairing of particles by spin, also states of matter by charge is also well established and verified by experiment.:

http://press.web.cern.ch/backgrounders/matterantimatter-asymmetry (http://press.web.cern.ch/backgrounders/matterantimatter-asymmetry)

The God Particle Explained:  http://www.aspenideas.org/session/god-particle?gclid=CMv5uuX_scQCFdgQgQodZFwAkQ (http://www.aspenideas.org/session/god-particle?gclid=CMv5uuX_scQCFdgQgQodZFwAkQ)

...also known as The Higgs Boson.

Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Dharmakara on March 18, 2015, 07:17:18 am
Hi Ron.

I find this summary interesting in that "dualism" is rarely if ever discussed in The Suttas, or in the Theravadin Commentaries. 

Yeah, it's more of a Mahayana thing --- for example, the summary is specific to the Lanka and Nirvana Sutra, not the Suttas or Pali commentaries.

Also, in physical science the concept of pairing of particles by spin, also states of matter by charge is also well established

I don't get a warm fuzzy feeling when it comes quantum physics and whether it should be cited as proof (or not proof) of any particular Buddhist position, ect. There's still much research that needs to be done, so maybe a little bit of caution is order, if for no other reason than not putting ourselves or anyone else in the position of having to back track --- for example, how many theories have risen and then fallen in the past ten years?

Back in 2011, a survey was taken of various physicists and mathematicians at a conference on "Quantum Physics and the Nature of Reality" in Austria. Thirty-three of the world's top experts were asked to list their favorite interpretation of quantum mechanics. The result? Not a single one of the interpretations could even garner a simple majority vote. Ninety years after the theory was first developed, there's still no consensus on what quantum physics actually means.

With that said, the subject of matter/antimatter asymmetry is certainly interesting.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Sriramani on March 18, 2015, 08:49:48 am
And likewise I said nothing about what you said, but pointing out that I posted the excerpt in reference to Sri Ramani's use of the term "universal self" --- in other words, he wasn't exactly clear about how he was using it, not to mention that his choice of username gives the impression that his understanding might be more informed through the Vedic tradition than Buddhism.

True! I am a fan of Vedic tradition as well as Buddhism.  Although I am no expert on Buddhist history, I believe the Buddha may also have been influenced by Vedic tradition.  I apologize if mixing terminology seemed unclear. Although the terms are different, I believe they both represent the goal of meditation, which is enlightenment. However, there is certainly always room for debate in semantics, which is why the word is not the thing. :)
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on March 18, 2015, 10:59:44 am
Quote
DK: Back in 2011, a survey was taken of various physicists and mathematicians at a conference on "Quantum Physics and the Nature of Reality" in Austria. Thirty-three of the world's top experts were asked to list their favorite interpretation of quantum mechanics. The result? Not a single one of the interpretations could even garner a simple majority vote. Ninety years after the theory was first developed, there's still no consensus on what quantum physics actually means.

With that said, the subject of matter/antimatter asymmetry is certainly interesting.

Yes.  I am more of a Standard Model follower myself, but not because I do not believe that quantum physics is valid.  Were it not for its principles we wouldn't be talking to each other as we are now over a collection (network) of computers.

The second article regarding The God Particle ( Higgs Boson)  and the interconnectedness of our universe is no longer theory.  CERN experiments have verified its existence last year.

As for Buddhist acceptance of physical theories, it all goes back to Buddha's advice given in His Charter of Free Inquiry, The Kalama Sutta.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Dharmakara on March 18, 2015, 11:41:07 am
Ron, I wasn't speaking about the acceptance of any given theory, but the very behavior that the New Age movement has been criticized for through the years --- what I find most funny is the fact that Buddhists have been doing the same thing for the same number of years, but they've never been criticized for it:

https://books.google.com/books?id=SghdYBbMds0C&pg=PA520#v=onepage&q&f=false (https://books.google.com/books?id=SghdYBbMds0C&pg=PA520#v=onepage&q&f=false)

Some things have changed since Ken Wilbur wrote his critique, but there's one thing that hasn't changed: the shotgun of generalization --- the New Age writers continue to run around "locked and loaded" and there are Buddhists who tend to do the same thing.

---------

PS: I forgot to mention this earlier, but beginning in November 2014 it would appear that some aspects of the Higgs Boson findings were being challenged --- it's all Greek to me, but maybe you'll make more sense out of it all than I can:

http://www.techtimes.com/articles/19802/20141108/shocking-cern-may-not-have-discovered-elusive-higgs-boson-particle-after-all.htm (http://www.techtimes.com/articles/19802/20141108/shocking-cern-may-not-have-discovered-elusive-higgs-boson-particle-after-all.htm)
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Dharmakara on March 18, 2015, 12:26:34 pm
True! I am a fan of Vedic tradition as well as Buddhism.  Although I am no expert on Buddhist history, I believe the Buddha may also have been influenced by Vedic tradition.  I apologize if mixing terminology seemed unclear. Although the terms are different, I believe they both represent the goal of meditation, which is enlightenment. However, there is certainly always room for debate in semantics, which is why the word is not the thing. :)

Hi Sriamani. I wouldn't go as far as to say that Buddhism has been influenced by Vedic tradition, but that both traditions were clearly drinking from the same well, so to speak --- either of these positions have the tendency to invoke responses that can be best described as immature in nature, where some practitioners seem hell-bent to ensure that Buddhism remains unique to itself.

Strangely enough, this can even occur when mentioning the existence of a commonly shared Indo-Aryan eschatology --- for example, on the few occasions I've mentioned this on the forum, it has been received as if I had hurled some imaginary insult at the history of the Buddhist tradition LOL
Title: !
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on March 18, 2015, 05:18:54 pm
Quote
DK:  PS: "I forgot to mention this earlier, but beginning in November 2014 it would appear that some aspects of the Higgs Boson findings were being challenged..."


Yes.  It seems we continue further down the rabbit hole of physics.  Techni-Higgs and Techni-quarks are just another step.  CERN was just funded to increase collider and detector power to get to the bottom of this, dark matter, and dark energy. 

As Roseanna Roseannadanna's mother used to advise her:  "Roseanna Roseannadanna, if it isn't one thing, it's another thing!"  Roseana Roseannadanna, It's always something!"

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/0d/Gene_Wilder_-_Gilda_Radner.jpg/440px-Gene_Wilder_-_Gilda_Radner.jpg)

Radner with actor-husband Gene Wilder in the film Haunted Honeymoon, 1986
Born   Gilda Susan Radner
June 28, 1946
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Died   May 20, 1989 (aged 42)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death


Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Dharmakara on March 18, 2015, 06:27:29 pm
Willy Wonka - You should never never doubt what nobody is sure about (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xx50-52k8Ic#ws)
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Solodris on August 09, 2016, 06:30:41 pm
My own personal experience of Nirvana is the meditative attainment of the intellect having unconditional access to a blissful tranquil state of being no longer possessing sensual desires that are ultimately unsatisfactory. Correct me if my perception on this concept is wrong.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: stillpointdancer on August 10, 2016, 02:34:06 am
My own personal experience of Nirvana is the meditative attainment of the intellect having unconditional access to a blissful tranquil state of being no longer possessing sensual desires that are ultimately unsatisfactory. Correct me if my perception on this concept is wrong.

Nope. It's a good description of what happened to me too. I might not use those exact words as I can't handle double negatives well, and you really need to use 'not' this and 'not not' that if you are to try to recreate the experience.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Solodris on August 10, 2016, 11:28:04 am
My own personal experience of Nirvana is the meditative attainment of the intellect having unconditional access to a blissful tranquil state of being no longer possessing sensual desires that are ultimately unsatisfactory. Correct me if my perception on this concept is wrong.

Nope. It's a good description of what happened to me too. I might not use those exact words as I can't handle double negatives well, and you really need to use 'not' this and 'not not' that if you are to try to recreate the experience.

Be mindful of māna, I'm autistic and so right speech is difficult. The thing is, I don't need to recreate the experience as it is a constant for me. This is why I asked; Is this Nirvana?
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Spiny Norman on August 11, 2016, 12:02:45 am
My own personal experience of Nirvana is the meditative attainment of the intellect having unconditional access to a blissful tranquil state of being no longer possessing sensual desires that are ultimately unsatisfactory. Correct me if my perception on this concept is wrong.

Nope. It's a good description of what happened to me too. I might not use those exact words as I can't handle double negatives well, and you really need to use 'not' this and 'not not' that if you are to try to recreate the experience.
Be mindful of māna, I'm autistic and so right speech is difficult. The thing is, I don't need to recreate the experience as it is a constant for me. This is why I asked; Is this Nirvana?

Nirvana is not really something that can be diagnosed on the internet, but here is an example of the way it is described in the suttas:

"Here, Ānanda, a bhikkhu thinks thus: ‘This is peaceful, this is sublime, that is, the stilling of all activities, the relinquishing of all acquisitions, the destruction of craving, dispassion, cessation, nibbāna.’"
https://suttacentral.net/en/an3.32

Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: stillpointdancer on August 11, 2016, 02:36:58 am
My own personal experience of Nirvana is the meditative attainment of the intellect having unconditional access to a blissful tranquil state of being no longer possessing sensual desires that are ultimately unsatisfactory. Correct me if my perception on this concept is wrong.

Nope. It's a good description of what happened to me too. I might not use those exact words as I can't handle double negatives well, and you really need to use 'not' this and 'not not' that if you are to try to recreate the experience.

Be mindful of māna, I'm autistic and so right speech is difficult. The thing is, I don't need to recreate the experience as it is a constant for me. This is why I asked; Is this Nirvana?

I'm not autistic, and right speech is difficult for me too! I don't usually pass judgments on other people's enlightenment experiences, but if you are asking me whether what you describe is Nirvana, it depends whether you are using in the Hindu sense or the Buddhist sense. As I understand it, the Hindu sense is kind of what you describe. The Buddhist sense, that I find useful, is the moment of enlightenment, the experience of enlightenment being the attainment of Nirvana. In that sense it is possible to attain for fleeting seconds, but not for longer. As soon as you are aware of being there, you no longer are.

However, if you are using Nirvana in the sense of continuing to be there afterwards, it wouldn't agree with my definition, but would be fine for yours. Any more useful definitions of Nirvana to help here?
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Solodris on November 27, 2016, 06:01:49 pm
The experience of complete spiritual absorption in Samadhi, in my humble perspective, seems to be the final attainment that leads to being reborn as an arhat, since the jhanic absorption seems to cancel out the conditioning of the surrounding environment.
Title: Re: What is Nirvana?
Post by: Solodris on January 14, 2017, 06:31:11 am
Strike that. Nirvana is the enlightened mind that has attained jhanic meditative powers to come closer to the non-self understanding of dukkha and anicca.

This creates a prajna-paramita which unlocks instinctiual behavior to modify ones own behavior. Then you have the realized retention of the mind of nirvana until you finally reach pari-nibbana.
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