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    • #25368
      cubibobi
      Participant

      An Apparent “Self” Is Involved in Kamma Generation

      Per #10

      “When one experiences a sukha vēdāna, if one delights in it, welcomes it, and thinks and speaks highly of it, gets absorbed in it, then the underlying tendency for rāga (rāgānusaya) gets stronger …”

      For paṭighānusaya, if we flip the above around and say something like this, will it be true:

      “When one experiences a dukha vēdāna, if one is irritated with it, pushes it away, and thinks and speaks harshly of it, tries to get away from it, then the underlying tendency for paṭighā (paṭighānusaya) gets stronger…”

      Thank you,
      Lang

    • #25369
      y not
      Participant

      I prefer not to go that way with this.

      With sukkha vedana one is pleased, welcomes and embraces it. There is icca involved. With dukkha vedana, one is annoyed, at best, rejects it, and does one’s best to obliterate it. There is no icca here. The sequence that leads to Release is ANICCA, from which (the recognition of) dukkha follows (Tilakkhana), and from dukkha, the Four Noble Truths.

      With dukkha vedana, I just apply anapanna and satipatthana on the spot, not contemplating the long-term (would-be) consequences. I do NOT always succeed, and when I do it is most often after quite some time.

    • #25370
      sybe07
      Spectator

      I wanted to aks for clarification:

      It is said by some that defilements and also anusaya can only be eradicated by the magga-citta, for example this is said by Nina van Gorkom who writes a lot about Abhidhamma.

      Does this also mean that one can not get rid of defilements and anusaya by not feeding them anymore? Maybe they will weaken by not feeding it anymore but they cannot be uprooted this way? So we can be mindfull of the arising of lust for sense pleausures, for example, let them go while they arise, not feed them, know the danger in it, but this cannot uproot them? Lust for sense pleasure will not really disappear this way? (lust for sense-pleaure as example).

    • #25372
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Lang asked: “For paṭighānusaya, if we flip the above around and say something like this, will it be true:
      “When one experiences a dukha vēdāna, if one is irritated with it, pushes it away, and thinks and speaks harshly of it, tries to get away from it, then the underlying tendency for paṭighā (paṭighānusaya) gets stronger…”

      That is right and that parallels the statement in the post about rāgānusaya.

      However, actually DOING THAT is the hard part. In some meditation retreats, they say, “feeling is just feeling. Just ignore it.” Even if one may be able to do that during the retreat, it will be HARD to do in real situations.

      The key is to truly understand that there is no “experiencer.” That will really help to suppress the “mind-made” vedana or samphassa-jā-vēdanā.
      – In #8 of the post I said, “To remove that strong diṭṭhi, we need to see the “true nature,” i.e., need to cultivate “yathābhuta ñāna.” I just added the following to that: “A big part of that is realizing that there is no “experiencer,” as we have discussed in detail using the movie analogy. See, “Vision Is a Series of “Snapshots” – Movie Analogy.”

      The key here is to UNDERSTAND why getting absorbed in either sukha or dukkha vedana is harmful. The mind needs to “SEE” that there is no actual “experiencer.”
      – Either sukha or dukkha vedana (the real ones) come only through the physical body.
      – All others are mind-made as we discussed.

      Even the “real” dukkha vedana are kamma vipaka. They WILL keep coming AS LONG AS we have physical bodies (i.e., we are in kama loka). And they are much worse in the four lower realms in kama loka (i.e., apayas).
      – Therefore, the goal is to stop rebirth first in the apayas.

      The bottom line is that it is essential to stop generating “mind-made vedana” based on even real vedana generated with the physical body.
      – But unless one really understands that there is no “experiencer” involved, it is not possible to stop births even in the apayas.
      – That requires BOTH learning the true nature AND practice. But the understanding must be there first.
      – We will discuss more in upcoming posts. But it is necessary to understand the “movie analogy” mentioned above.

      • #25379
        sybe07
        Spectator

        Lal said: “But unless one really understands that there is no “experiencer” involved, it is not possible to stop births even in the apayas”.

        I think the sutta’s teach that understanding there is no experiencer involved is only the understanding of the arahant. Even sotapanna’s have the sanna of an experiencer who is involved in seeing, hearing, thinking, feeling, etc.

    • #25373
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Siebe wrote: “It is said by some that defilements and also anusaya can only be eradicated by the magga-citta, for example this is said by Nina van Gorkom who writes a lot about Abhidhamma.”

      The way that is written gives a wrong impression.
      – It is true that anusaya is removed in stages at each stage of magga phala. But that does not happen automatically. It requires learning and practicing dhamma.
      – Once one starts understanding the true nature, that understanding grows with time (as a Sotapanna Anugami). Then the wrong view of sakkaya ditthi is removed at the moment of attaining the Sotapanna magga/phala citta.
      – Removing the wrong perceptions (saññā) requires more learning and practice and that is removed only at the Arahant stage.

    • #25374
      Johnny_Lim
      Participant

      In other words, practising the dhamma is a means to excite those magga-phala citta to arise and effect liberation.

    • #25375
      sybe07
      Spectator

      Just to show to what i am refering too:

      Nina van Gorkom says: “Only lokuttara kusala cittas, magga-cittas, eradicate the
      latent tendencies of defilements”. In Abhidhamma in Daily Life, page 157

      “Only the magga-citta eradicates defilements; the phala-citta, which also
      experiences nibbana, is vipaka, result of the magga-citta. (page 161)

      “Not all defilements can be eradicated by the magga-citta of the first stage of enlightenment. As we have seen, there are four stages of enlightenment (the stages of the sotapanna, the sakadagami, the anagam1 and the arahat), and for each of these stages there is a magga-citta which experiences nibbana and eradicates defilements”. Page 161

      I do not argue the use of weakening defilements, and letting them go while they arise, but it seems that this cannot lead to their uprooting. On that point 1 would like some clarificaton. It seems that only te magga citta that experiences Nibbana can uproot defilements.

    • #25376
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Siebe wrote: “I do not argue the use of weakening defilements, and letting them go while they arise, but it seems that this cannot lead to their uprooting. On that point 1 would like some clarificaton. It seems that only te magga citta that experiences Nibbana can uproot defilements.”

      You have already clarified.

      You wrote, ” I do not argue the use of weakening defilements, and letting them go while they arise.”

      It seems you agree that the weakening of defilements is NECESSARY in order to get rid of anusaya. That is a NECESSARY condition.

      Once the defilements start fading, at some point, the “point of no return” is reached. That is the magga phala moment.
      – One CANNOT get to that point without going through the “mind purification” process, which is just getting rid of the wrong view of sakkaya ditthi (for the Sotapanna stage).

      Are you saying otherwise? Please focus on the key point.

    • #25378
      sybe07
      Spectator

      When i read those comments by Nina van Gorkom my impression from that is that one never comes to a point of really uprooting defilements unless Nibbana is experienced with magga citta. Only magga citta can do the uprooting. So, my impression is: one can weaken defilements and anusaya but not really uproot them when one has no direct experience of Nibbana. Experiencing Nibbana is a necessary condition to uproot then, and they will never arise again.
      That is what i understand from those comments of Nina van Gorkom.

    • #25387
      cubibobi
      Participant

      It is indeed HARD to just ignore feelings, even in a retreat, at least for me. There is a long discussion about Goenka’s technique in the meditation forum, and this is exactly what they do there: scanning the body from head to toes, observing the sukha and dukha vedana (kayika vedana), and maintaining a neutral mindset about them — no craving for sukha vedana and no aversion for dukha vedana, because all vedana come and go (or arise and pass away). Seeing this coming and going (or arising and passing) of vedana means beginning to see anicca.

      Lal said: “The key is to truly understand that there is no “experiencer.” That will really help to suppress the “mind-made” vedana or samphassa-jā-vēdanā.”

      Using this approach, if we feel a vedana (say a pain in the knee), instead of watching the “impermanent” nature of the pain, we can contemplate that there is no “feeler” behind that pain, right? That the pain is just kamma vipaka?

      If that’s the case, I suppose we can extend that to the other senses? Take hearing as an example. Sometimes, I am bothered by surrounding noises while sitting. Will it be helpful to contemplate that there is no “hearer” involved.

      To take this even further, I wonder if we can apply this to breathing. I still have a habit of doing breath meditation, although I’m learning to wean from it after reading the Meditation section. But, using this context, instead of doing breath meditation as a samatha method, is it ok to do it to contemplate that there is no “breather” behind the breathing?

      Thank you all,
      Lang

    • #25389
      Tobias G
      Participant

      Lal says under #4: “…That is why one cannot argue that ‘cakkhu is self.’ Thus cakkhu is ‘not-self’ or ‘anattā.”

      Why is anattā “not-self”? Everywhere on the website it is stated that this translation is not correct. Would it be better to say: “chakkhu has no substance” or “one is not in control over chakku”?
      Of course if one has no control over chakku then it implies that “one cannot be chakku” or “I am not chakku”.

    • #25390
      y not
      Participant

      Tobias,

      That is why not-self is in inverted commas: “not-self” – meaning that it is not what is TAKEN TO BE “Self”. That is what I make out.

      Of more substance is Siebe’s (quoting Lal): ‘Lal said: “But unless one really understands that there is no “experiencer” involved, it is not possible to stop births even in the apayas”.’ (November 3, 2019 at 11:02 am above.)

      If you ask me, this forum topic has come to appear more like a Mahāyāna inquiry into emptiness, nothingness, sunnyata: no experiencer? The same old questions about Nibbana come up. Who is it, apart from the pancakkhandhas, that experiences? The manomayakaya shorn of all that is positive and negative, with only what is neutral remaining. Lal: ‘The key here is to UNDERSTAND why getting absorbed in either sukha or dukkha vedana is harmful. The mind needs to “SEE” that there is no actual “experiencer.”

      For all but Arahants that has no practical value whatsoever. And if there WERE an Arahant on the Forum, even then it has no practical value, for an Arahant has gone the distance, he does not need to be here.

    • #25392
      Lal
      Keymaster

      What Lang wrote is correct.

      However, what needs to be really done is to realize the following:
      1. To understand WHY there is no “self” or a “soul” involved in the initial sensory event.
      2. That the response to those initial sensory events with the idea of a “self” leads to suffering in the long-term.
      We have not yet discussed how that suffering arises via Paticca Samuppada. (but some may be able to make that connection on their own).
      – In any case, the next few posts will make that connection clear.

      Stated in another way, there will be suffering as long there one has the view that it is WORTHWHILE to take good sensory inputs as “mine” and TRY TO ENJOY THEM, especially by doing immoral deeds. An extreme case is where one kills or steals in order to get money and buy luxury items and live a “good life.”
      – Same works the other way too. We tend to dislike other sensory events and MAY TRY to do IMMORAL THINGS in order to stop those. For example, as an extreme case, some people try to hurt or even kill their enemies.

      Tobias asked: “Why is anattā “not-self”?.”

      I said it is the WRONG APPROACH to say that there is “no-self” OR there is a “self”.
      – Please read the post carefully. I emphasized that point at the very end.
      – We need to realize that suffering arises because of the idea of a “self.” One does immoral things BECAUSE of that.
      – In a strict sense, it is correct to say that anattā implies “no-self.” But we cannot START there BECAUSE just saying that will not help. One will be just fooling “oneself.” We are under the perception of a “self.” We need to SEE the bad consequences of that perception by SEEING the dangers of that view.

      Basically one is “anattā” (with no refuge) AS LONG AS one has the wrong view of sakkaya ditthi.
      – One starts becoming an “attā” (one with refuge) when one starts realizing the true nature (that there is no “experiencer.” Then one will be free of the apayas.
      – However, the perception of a “self” goes away only at the Arahant stage, and at that time one will have the full refuge of NO SUFFERING AT ALL (after the Parinibbana.)

      I am glad that both of you thought about it. It is not possible to write all this in a post. When we go through the next few posts, this will hopefully become clear.
      – This is why the Buddha said, “my Dhamma is difficult to understand.” That Dhamma cannot be UNDERSTOOD by repeating verses to oneself. One needs to “see-through” the true nature.
      – The procedure of repeating verses (which most people call meditation) becomes useful after “SEEING” the true nature. Then, in order to remove the wrong perception and get to higher magga phala, such “formal meditations with repeating verses” will be more effective.
      – That is why “bhavanaya pahatabba” comes at the end in the Sabbasava Sutta. First one needs to get to “dassanena pahatabba” or “removal by vision” or Samma Ditthi.
      – Of course, one who has removed sakkaya ditthi needs to do those formal meditations. That will help remove the “wrong perceptions” (sanna vipallasa).

      An analogy is a smoker. A smoker first needs to “SEE” the bad consequences of smoking. But unless one keeps recalling that frequently, it may be hard to break the “old habit” completely (by removing the sanna).
      – Of course, there is a difference at the Sotapanna stage. Even if one may be tempted to do “some immoral things” one WILL NEVER BE CAPABLE of doing apayagami deeds after removing sakkaya ditthi.

      P.S. Here is what I stated at the very end of the post:

      17. In other words, the wrong views about a “self” (sakkāya diṭṭhi) go away at the Sōtapanna stage. But the perception of a “self” (asmi māna) goes away in stages and disappear only at the Arahant stage.
      – Only an Arahant has no saññā vipallāsa and asmi māna.
      – That is also why we CANNOT say that “there is no-self.” Until the attainment of Arahanthood, there is a perception of a “self.”
      – It is a wrong approach to analyze sensory experiences based on a “self” or “no-self.” Instead, we can explain everything in terms of causes and effects or Paticca Samuppāda. We will discuss this in the future.

    • #25409
      Lal
      Keymaster

      I have done some significant revisions to the post in question: “An Apparent “Self” Is Involved in Kamma Generation.”

      Those interested should re-read the revised post.

      One major change was to add #5 under a new heading, as follows:

      Attā Translated as “Self” Is Not Correct

      5. The Pāli word “attā” does not really mean “self” even though I used that translation above. That translation is quite common these days. We will go with that until we finish discussing Paticca Samuppāda. If I try to discuss the real meaning of attā right now, that could lead to confusion.

      That is in fact why the Buddha refused to answer Vaccagotta’s question about whether or not there is an “attā.” See, “Ānanda Sutta (SN 44.10).”

      Vacchagotta comes to the Buddha asked “kiṃ nu kho, bho gotama, atthattā” ti?” OR “Master Gotama, is it correct to say that there is an “attā”?”.

      Note that “atthattā” is “atthi attā” where “atthi” means “exists.” Vaccagotta meant in this case “attā” to be “self.” Thus, Vacchagotta meant: “Is it correct to say that a “self” exists?”

      The Buddha remained silent, and Vacchagotta asked the question again in the negative form. The second time, he asked: “Kiṃ pana, bho gotama, natthattā” ti?” or, “Master Gotama, is it not correct to say that there is a “self”?”.
      – Seeing that the Buddha is refusing to answer his question, Vacchagotta got up and left.

      Note that “natthattā” is made up of three words: “naatthi attā,” which negates “atthattā.”Just as these days, many people were confused about the Pali word “attā” and the Sanskrit word “ātma.” The latter meaning is closer to a “soul.”

      I will discuss this sutta when I will come back to discuss “attā” in detail, after discussing Paticca Samuppāda.

    • #25410
      sybe07
      Spectator

      I wanted to share some thoughts with you:

      What i understand from MN44 which deals with sakkaya ditthi and from SN22.89, sakkaya ditthi’s are self views related to a certain khandha. For example, the view can arise ‘i am this body’ while one stands for the mirror. Or the view might arise, ‘this pain is mine’ while pain arises or…’the pain is in me’. I think one might say that sakkaya ditthi’s arises in relation to a certain experience at a certain moment.

      Asmi mana is not related to a specific experience or khandha, but the perception of Me relates to all khandha’s. In SN22.89 Khemaka explains this by illustrating that the scent of a flower does not relate to a particular part of the flower. In the same way the scent of subject in the mind, the perception of Me, the colour of personal existence, does not relate specifically to one khandha but to all.

      Do you agree?

    • #25411
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Yes. That is correct, Siebe.

      Regarding the first part, the following explanation by Ven. Nagasena (to King Milinda) gives the idea too.
      The chariot simile” from Sutta Central.

      I only recently found that Sutta Central has the full English translation of “Milinda Panha
      – King Milinda was a Greek King who ruled part of India about 200 years after the Buddha. He was a Buddhist. He had frequent conversations with an Arahant, Ven. Nagasena. This Milinda Panha (Questions of Milinda) captures those questions by Milinda and answers by Ven. Nagasena.

      Of course, some Pali words are translated incorrectly. But one can get a good idea.

    • #25415
      Christian
      Participant

      f you ask me, this forum topic has come to appear more like a Mahāyāna inquiry into emptiness, nothingness, sunnyata: no experiencer? The same old questions about Nibbana come up. Who is it, apart from the pancakkhandhas, that experiences? The manomayakaya shorn of all that is positive and negative, with only what is neutral remaining

      When reading it and your question I realized that after Nibbana is only Nibbana and this is how it is. 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

    • #25416
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Cristian wrote: “f you ask me, this forum topic has come to appear more like a Mahāyāna inquiry into emptiness, nothingness, sunnyata: no experiencer? The same old questions about Nibbana come up. Who is it, apart from the pancakkhandhas, that experiences? The manomayakaya shorn of all that is positive and negative, with only what is neutral remaining”

      Are you quoting someone else or are you saying that?

    • #25418
      y not
      Participant

      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.”

    • #25420
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Nibbana itself is very easy to DEFINE.

      It is in many many suttas: “rāgakkhayo dosakkhayo mohakkhayo— idaṃ vuccati nibbānan”ti.
      – Removing greed, anger, and ignorance (about the Four Noble Truths) will get one to Nibbana.

      In order to get there, one needs to realize that there no real “experiencer.”

      1. Things happen due to past causes. Life is a series of events. One has control over SOME kamma vipaka, by paying attention and by avoiding conditions for them to appear. But some kamma vipaka cannot be avoided (strong ones) UNTIL one attains Parinibbana.
      – When one has sakkāya diṭṭhi, one keeps accumulating causes (hetu or kamma bija) for future existences. Under highly-tempting conditions, one may even do apāyagāmi deeds. That possibility WILL BE there UNTIL one gets rid of sakkāya diṭṭhi.

      P.S. When quoting others, please say who said what.

      P.P.S. To add to #1 above:

      2. Taking control over those CONDITIONS is the key to stop making NEW CAUSES for future suffering. That is what is discussed in the Paticca Samuppada.
      – Once the main result has arisen (like our present human body), it HAS TO run its course.
      – But we can STOP such future existence from arising by comprehending Paticca Samuppada.
      – This is why Paticca Samuppada is sometimes translated as “Conditional Arising” or “Dependent Origination.” Results can be STOPPED from appearing by either removing causes OR conditions. Thus even if kamma bija are there, they can be PREVENTED from “germinating” by removing the conditions for them to appear. For future existences, that is done by stopping the “tanha paccaya upadana” step.
      – That cannot be done by sheer will-power. It comes through Samma Diṭṭhi, the correct world view (anicca, dukkha, anatta nature.)
      – That is what we will be discussing in the upcoming posts.

    • #25422
      Christian
      Participant

      @y not

      For me it’s easier to see what is in Nibbana because I have a lot of meditative experience especially higher arupa jhanas so what not make sense for regular person if you go beyond this realm it will start to make sense as you been and seen how things are up there. In Nibbana there is only Nibbana, nothing else. If you practice it will make sense to you too. :)

    • #25423
      y not
      Participant

      Thank you Christian.

      I realize I must be seeing things from a different standpoint. Still some way to go.

      May YOU attain Nibbana in this life.

    • #25433
      Christian
      Participant

      For me it’s also interesting and I can not explain the way I would like it, probably Abhidhamma explains it but in Nibbana there is only Nibbana and experience of it itself. I do not want to add much more to it because people start to think in the limited views and ideas that may be actually opposite to what really happen. I can not explain how Nibbana can be just Nibbana without consciousness etc. but this is how it is.

    • #25434
      y not
      Participant

      Christian said:

      “I can not explain how Nibbana can be just Nibbana without consciousness etc. but this is how it is.”

      That was my whole point. It comes to that.

      Thank you Christian.

    • #25436
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Christian wrote: “I can not explain how Nibbana can be just Nibbana without consciousness etc. but this is how it is.”

      What needs to be explained is how to get to Nibbana.

      By the way, one cannot experience ultimate Nibbana (the status after Parinibbana) without getting to Nirodha Samapatti. Are you saying that you can get to Nirodha Samapatti?

    • #25440
      Christian
      Participant

      I agree how to get Nibbana is more important then explaining this thing about Nibbana which is self explanatory and kind of “organic” when one gets into those stages. I can not claim nirodha samapatti but I’m sure I been very close to it which was very similar to the lady in terms of experience I posted in “very advanced testimonial” :) but it may be just last arupa jhana, we would need to ask Buddha to explain it or verify it but we can not do that now so that’s all I can say about Nibbana that there is Nibbana without any residue but most people without any deeper meditative experience will still look into “me” and Nibbana, not just Nibbana, for me it’s too mystery how Nibbana can function itself and in relation to itself.

    • #25448
      Lal
      Keymaster

      OK, Christian.

      The “very advanced testimonial” that you posted is interesting. I have seen many similar accounts. But the problem is, those experiences do not say anything about Nibbana. They are jhanic experiences.

      Now if they are Ariya jhanas, then it has to do with Nibbana.
      – It is very easy to determine (for oneself) whether they are Ariya jhanas. If one does not generate ANY kama raga (say even while watching an X-rated movie), then those are likely to be Ariya jhana.

      Even the first Ariya jhana REQUIRES ELIMINATION (not just suppression) of kama raga.

      If you can post a video of someone saying that they have such jhanic experiences AND also do not have have any kama raga left, please do so. (But again, there are people who have declared themselves to be Arahants. So, I am not sure whether we can take anyone’s word. This is why declaring these accomplishments do not serve benefits to others.)
      – Other than Ariya jhana, it is not a big deal to get into a jhana, even the arupa jhana (for those who had cultivated jhana in recent previous lives).
      However, I am not saying that getting to jhana is bad. I am just saying that getting to jhana is more like a habit from previous lives. It is easy for those who had cultivated jhanas in recent previous lives, to get into jhana.
      – It is like someone who learned to ride a bike as a child. Even if that child did not get to ride a bike for many years, he could easily remember how to ride it later on as an adult. But it would be hard for an adult to learn to ride a bike if he had never ridden one.

      This is why I believe putting emphasis on jhanas is a bad idea. There could be people who even get to magga phala but cannot cultivate jhana. They could be discouraged because they may be under the impression that it is essential to cultivate jhana to attain magga phala.

      We need to remember that Devadatta attained all those jhanas, and was also able to perform “miracles”, like appearing on the lap of Prince Ajasattu in the form of a baby (or a snake?.) But he ended up in the apayas.

      I have explained this in many posts. The bottom line is that jhanas and magga phala are two different things. We should not confuse jhanic experiences having anything to do with magga phala.
      – Furthermore, the Buddha himself practiced the highest jhana soon after he gave up the “householder life.” It took him six years to get to the Buddhahood.

    • #25479
      Christian
      Participant

      I agree, most of my progress related to Nibbana is without jhana to be honest. I realized when mind becomes pure but does not have jhana factors it makes “leap” into deeper state of Nibbana, understanding, not generating any tanha, attachment, better understanding. I realized that I need to have just mind pure enough to get it deeper but this seems like a different “Pathway”. Can you shed light about it? I’m not sure if it’s okay to keep going in this thread if we think we should create new please tell me. What I realized the most (and that let me go of jhanas really) that progress is made in different state of mind which is not jhana but it’s pure also and that purity or light joins with proper understanding and wisdom (panna) about true nature then I feel magga phala happens and deeper understanding, way and I can see how my mind works different on the same way he used to work. For example when I would lost something or something precious to me (before) I would have certain heat, emotions, thoughts coming up but now it not even happening like it would never happen, nothing comes up after those experiences I related with “clear light” or “clear mind” + deeper understanding of Anicca Sanna etc. after that I realized I do not need anything else, not even jhana to realize full Nibbana in the future, just repeat this pattern of getting mind pure and when purity is ready to mix this pure mind with wisdom but it’s really yoked, wisdom works on pure mind, pure mind works on wisdom at the same time or in cycles so to speak.

    • #25487
      Lal
      Keymaster

      I do not get into discussing other people’s mindsets. That is because of the limited power of words.
      – When someone tries to explain their experience, it may be hard to put into words.
      – Then the one who is listening may not get the same idea. The worst is, when that second person tries to give his/her opinion, that has the same problem of expressing their own thoughts.

      I will think about this a little bit more, Christian. But my inclination is that it is not fruitful to “analyze” someone else’s reporting of their experiences. Of course, we can point out major issues.
      – For example, we know how to differentiate an Ariya jhana from an anariya jhana, as I discussed above. But it is only that person who would really know which one it is. There is no point in either denying or confirming their statements. It does not serve any real purpose.

      When I started the website, I used to discuss a few of my experiences. Then I realized that it may not be a good idea.
      – Rather, I try to point out examples from the Tipitaka. That way, I don’t need to get involved.
      – What is really important is to discuss the concepts, not so much one’s own experience. Of course, it is fine to report one’s progress, if one thinks that it will be beneficial in motivating others. But that should be done with restraint.

    • #27606
      Johnny_Lim
      Participant

      If one adamantly insists on an existence of an entity or experiencer to experience a vipaka and a doer to execute a kamma, can it be thought of as the vedanakkhandha being the experiencer of vipaka and sankharakkhandha being the doer at any one citta moment?

    • #27607
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Johnny wrote: “If one adamantly insists on an existence of an entity or experiencer to experience a vipaka and a doer to execute a kamma,..”

      I think the best way to state is the following:
      – There will be a person with the perception of “me” doing kamma as long as that person DOES NOT see the real nature of this world.
      – There will be a person with the perception of “me” doing kamma as long as that person HAS a set of gati (habits/character) to get attached to “things in this world.”
      – There will be a person with the perception of “me” doing kamma as long as that person DOES NOT see the futility AND danger in getting attached to “things in this world.”
      – Only an Arahant has comprehended this fully. Others have to get there in stages.

      The first step is the “see” the futility and danger in doing, speaking, thinking immoral things.
      – Until one makes progress on that, the ability to “see” the true nature of this world is limited. One’s mind is covered with the five hindrances (panca nivarana): excess greed, excess anger, lethargic mind, the tendency is to do lowly things and uncertainty of one’s faith in Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha (this is because one has not understood Dhamma.)

      Thus the first step is to “see” the true nature by getting rid of the ten types of miccha ditthi, and then comprehending Tilakkhana. That is getting to Sotapanna Anugami/Sotapanna stages.
      Getting rid of the perception (sanna) of a “me” starts at THAT POINT.
      – That step is completed only at the Arahant stage.

      Until then there is going to be a “me” doing kamma. That “me” will be born in lower realms if immoral kamma are done.
      – At times that “me” will do good kamma, and will be born in good realms.
      – That process will continue endlessly until that “me” realizes the true nature and “sees” the futility AND danger in that whole process.

      My next series of posts will be on this issue. Good timing!

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