Reply To: Post on An Apparent “Self” Is Involved in Kamma Generation

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Evidently, Christian was quoting me.

Before I read Lal’s question to Christian, I was busy replying to Christian:

“One may not grasp it or make sense of it but after Nibbana there is only Nibbana. If you inquiry on it – it make really clear sense. In Nibbana there is only Nibbana”

If I say: ‘Life on an exoplanet orbiting that star is nothing like life on Earth. We have no parallels. Only thing we can say is that life there is what it is there.’ It really makes clear sense, granted; not knowing what it is, the only thing that makes clear sense is that nothing is known about it. ONLY A BEING LIVING ON THAT PLANET KNOWS.

So let us not play around with words and catch phrases. Starting with'”Nibbana is…” what follows should be a statement of what Nibbana is. Continuing “….Nibbana”, what are you stating about Nibbana? Nothing. It is what it is. Meaning, we do not know. Even if that statement were ‘Nibbana is nicca, sukkha , atta’, still all our experience has been of anicca, dukkha and anatta.

Now though, through aveccappasada in the Buddha I ACCEPT that there is such a state as Nibbana, which is nicca, sukkha and atta, because, leading to that, was the experience that life is the opposite – full of suffering, with the grave and IMMINENT danger of worse to come if nothing is done about it. Time after time and throughout, the suttas provide insights about the true nature of life, and time after time the answers are found in the suttas, and the answers make absolute sense. So aveccappasada results. (As a boy I used to observe: why is this one here born a snail, a fly, a dog ….and I a human?)

So even if I cannot see how a sentient being remains sentient after going beyond the (anicca nature of) the pancakkhandhas , and yet is still able to experience the nicca, sukkha and atta that is Nibbana, still it MUST be so – for the opposite will not do, we have experience of THAT aplenty. Even though to me it makes no sense to say: ‘there is no sukkha vedana there, yet Nibbana is sukkha; there is no experiencer there, but there is (the experience of) sukkha’. Moreover, I have always had the certainty that ‘ultimate existence’ can only be one of happiness, however many the obstacles and however long it takes to get there. So that means the suttas are correct in stating that the ultimate state of being is one of happiness.

But there is the danger of taking any intermediate state of happiness to be the ultimate one.
sn55.54/en/sujato. Gilanasutta. (Sick):

“Mahānāma, a wise lay follower should put at ease another wise lay follower who is SICK, SUFFERING, GRAVELY ILL with four consolations. ‘Be at ease, sir. You have experiential confidence in the Buddha..the teaching …the Saṅgha …And you have the ethical conduct loved by the noble ones … leading to immersion.’ “They should say: ‘Are you concerned for your mother and father?… are you concerned for your partners and children?’” To both questions the answer is ‘whether you are concerned or not, you will die anyway’..

“Are you concerned for the five kinds of human sensual stimulation?’ If they reply,‘I am,’ they should say: Good sir, heavenly sensual pleasures are better than human sensual pleasures. It would be good to turn your mind away from human sensual pleasures and fix it on the gods of the Four Great Kings” If they reply,’I have done so,’ they should say ‘‘Good sir, the gods of the Thirty Three are better than the gods of the Four Great Kings’… and so on to the Yama, the Tusita, the Nimminarati and the Nimittavasavatti devas…and “the Gods of the Brahmā realm are better than the Nimittavasavatti devas. It would be good to turn your mind away from the Nimittavasavatti devas and fix it on the Gods of the Brahmā realm.’ If they reply,‘I have done so,’ they should say:

“Good sir, the Brahmā realm is IMPERMANENT, NOT LASTING, (anicco addhuvo) and included within identity.It would be good to turn your mind away from the Brahmā realm and apply it to the cessation of identity(sakkāyapariyāpanno) .’If they reply,‘I have done so’,then there is no difference between a lay follower whose mind is freed in this way and a mendicant whose mind is freed from defilements; that is,between the freedom of one and the other.”