February 19, 2019 at 2:27 pm #22007
On a Dutch Buddha forum someone said:
-But the Buddha taught something lasting cannot be found/discovered in a living being.
(Dutch: Maar de Boeddha onderwees dat er geen blijvend iets in een wezen te ontdekken is)
Is this true? Did the Buddha taught this?
If one is in nirodha samapatti isn’t there something lasting?
February 19, 2019 at 2:59 pm #22008
To put it in another way,
How can the fruit of buddha-dhamma be stability when we, as a human, would be only instability? If, truthfully, there would be only instability, then realisation would mean that we become more and more instabel, because that would be ‘how things really are’.
This makes no sense.
I think: There must be a stable element to be found in a living being
February 19, 2019 at 3:42 pm #22009ChristianParticipant
It’s sad seeing how people can be clueless even about basic things in Dhamma.
Imagine that you are on caravan going so fast that you can not stop it. The only way to stop is to cut off reins of the horse. All other religions focus either on the horse or on the caravan that’s why they are a bootleg (or at the best – limited version of spirituality) Buddha provided a real deal. Once you attain enough wisdom you can cut off reins and stop the suffering forever. People do not even know they are on the caravan (10 micca ditthi) so how this process can even start?
All those questions and confusion only springs from not understand real Dhamma. It’s like making up conclusions about 2+2 is maybe 6 maybe 7 maybe it’s 2 or maybe it’s 0? Why make up assumptions and conclusions about it without learning it? There is no “shortcut” or we can not “make up” Nibbana just by assuming things of what Buddha Dhamma is or not.
Get things straight, learn Dhamma and stop daydreaming about it!
February 19, 2019 at 5:32 pm #22010
Siebe wrote: “I think: There must be a stable element to be found in a living being”
What would that “stable element” be? Do you mean “something that is fixed, permanent”? Be specific.
This is a serious issue, and gets to the heart of Buddha Dhamma.
February 20, 2019 at 6:26 am #22016
I will just share my thoughts and hope you are willing to see i am trying, in my own way, to understand buddha-dhamma. If you cannot respect this, so be it.
By a stable element i mean a stable element, an unconditioned element, an element which was never born, does not change in the meantime and does not end. I am convinced such an element is present, and it is not an illusion.
Like Udana 8.3 explains, if there would not be this unconditioned element, no escape from the conditioned could be known or realised. How would we able to make a refuge/island of ourselves if there was not this always present stabel unconditioned element?
This unconditioned element is, i belief, the stable element present in any living being. It is the base, the essence, the ground of any living being. It is always present but not seen because of our obsession and identification with conditioned phenomena.
It is best seen when conditioned processes end. I think, when one experiences this cessation ones asava’s can end immediately. This is because one has seen there is nothing to attach too and one is safe from beginningless time.
February 20, 2019 at 7:23 am #22022
Siebe wrote: “This unconditioned element is, i belief, the stable element present in any living being”
For the last time, what it is?
If you cannot say what it is, I will have no more comments.
The only “unconditioned element” is Nibbana. One needs to follow the Noble Eightfold Path to get to Nibbana.
February 20, 2019 at 9:29 am #22023y notParticipant
Let us start by seeing what the Tipitaka has to say concerning this.
1) beings have been around from beginingless time (sansara)
2) on the attainment of Arahanthood beings attain ‘the Deathless’, literally. (Nibbana)
2a) Udana 8.3 is speaking about Nibbana: ajātaṃ abhūtaṃ akataṃ asaṅkhataṃ.(an unborn, unbecome, unmade, unconditioned) is the Refuge from the :jātassa bhūtassa katassa saṅkhatassa (the born, become, made, and conditioned).
So we have; beings who have always existed in the past (in sansara) and will continue to exist forever in Nibbana in the future after that. Both taken as one stream of existence,clearly then there is eternality to the existence of beings.Yet this does not go against the Buddha’s refutation of the doctrine of eternalism, because there what He was refuting was the idea of ‘those eternalists who assert the existence of a ‘Self’, that is of an UNCHANGING self or abiding personality throughout. As it is, beings are ever-changing (i,e, non-self) in sansara through the many different bhava they acquire, but will be non-changing in Nibbana (Self).
- ‘By a stable element i mean a stable element, an unconditioned element, an element which was never born, does not change in the meantime and does not end. I am convinced such an element is present, and it is not an illusion.’ –
But Sybe, is this not the being itself? And it has been said that beings are unique. So what makes for that uniqueness? Or is it inherent in the being, quite apart from the presence (sansara) or absence (Nibbana) of the pancakkhandhas.? Is this what you are getting at?
Is this what you mean by: ‘It is the base, the essence, the ground of any living being. It is always present but not seen because of our obsession and identification with CONDITIONED PHENOMENA?’ It cannot be Nibbana you are referring to, for that is ATTAINED, not ‘always present’ in us.
So what is it?
February 20, 2019 at 10:58 am #22024
I think The Buddha compared the Parinibbana of an Arahant to the extinguishing of a flame, where it ceases to exist, and it would also be meaningless for us to say where it is going.
Please be very honest here: Do you fear becoming just like the fate of the extinguished flame once you attain Nibbana?
Is that why you are desperately albeit subtly trying to justify to yourself that there is an unchanging element that continues to exist after the attainment of Nibbana? That there is something lasting and stable to be found in a living being? That you can somehow exist as a silent and uninvolved observer (after attaining Nibbana) to witness or experience whatever goes on in the sansaric world, much like an observer watching a movie which depicts life, yet is basically not involved in whatever goes on in the plot of the movie?
You do not like the fact that there will be no more silent, uninvolved observer after the attainment of Nibbana?
Maybe there are others who think that we will just meld into Nibbana, yet continue to exist unconditionally. For me, I think that existence will cease once we attain Nibbana. Whichever the case is, it will not matter much once we attain Nibbana, for there would be no dukkha for it to even matter.
Do not be afraid of attaining Nibbana, even if it means giving up that which you desperately cherish — your deep-seated craving for existence. For you do not realize, just like me and most of the rest of us, that the enjoyments and pleasures of this world are just sugar and honey coated on the sharp, hurting edges of a dagger, which would surely hurt us sooner or later once we try to savour too much of it.
Although at the moment I cannot and do not realize Nibbana, yet I cannot explain why I have such deep faith, reverence and love for The Buddha. I do not even think I am a Sotapanna Anugami yet. Yet when I think about the tenets of other religions, I find myself unable to have faith in them. I would have it no other way, except to believe in Buddhism. That is why I am trying to persuade you to believe in Buddhism.
Try letting go of your craving for existence and control, and see what happens from there. The Buddha is immeasurably wise; He must have realized that Nibbana in whatever form it is, would be infinitely better than struggling along in sansara, no matter how pleasurable its traps and addictions are.
Perhaps you do not agree with my intuition and beliefs about why you are asking these questions. That is fine too, as long as I hope it triggered some deeper contemplation on your part, to aid you along in your spiritual journey.
Nibbana is not to be feared; please embrace it!
February 20, 2019 at 11:27 am #22025
May I also add that I think that there are two levels at which we can give up or reduce our craving for existence — the ultimate level, in which we eradicate bhavasava to become Arahants and the mundane level, in which we decide to undertake the path to Nibbana, after being somewhat convinced of the superior state that Nibbana is, even if it means the ending of the form of existence that we are intimately familiar with.
We would be embarking on the path away from the conditioned to the Unconditioned, in the latter case.
February 20, 2019 at 1:32 pm #22026y notParticipant
“For me, I think that existence will cease once we attain Nibbana. Whichever the case is, it will not matter much once we attain Nibbana, for there would be no dukkha for it to even matter.”
Not only is there no dukkha. Nibbana is a positive state of being for it is the opposite of anicca dukkha and anatta. It is in fact sukkha. It is nicca, sukkha and atta. That is, whatever we like there is worth it, fruitful, leads to satisfaction, and that is sukkha and that in turn is the basis of atta, perfection, ‘of true essence’, the ‘Deathless’. How can all that apply to a ‘being’ who does not exist? It is a contradiction in terms.
I too have aveccapasada in the Buddha. I do not see how that aveccapasada can be increased in any way. It is indeed the Refuge of my life as I live it, no mere conclusion brought about by the intellect and ‘stored away’ with the other views that make up ‘me’.
The Buddha ‘compared the Parinibbana of an Arahant to the extinguishing of a flame’, true, but not ‘where it ceases to exist’, but again yes when ‘it would also be meaningless for us to say where it is going’. If asked where the flame has gone, whether north, south, east or west we would simply be unable to answer. Not that it has not gone anywhere, because that would not be consistent with Nibbana being icca, sukkha and atta, simply that we can have no conception of where it has gone. Certainly beyond the 31 realms in sansara.
So I take the Buddhas’s words to mean: it is impossible to figure out ,do not try to figure out where and what Nibbana is. It IS. That is all you can know about it. The task consists in getting there. That is why I am here.
February 20, 2019 at 4:23 pm #22028
When we purify water we only remove adventitious defilements from that water. The natural result is pure water. We do not produce, make, fabricate the water. And defilements never really mix with water, otherwise they could not be removed.
I belief purifying mind works the same way. The natural result of (permanently) removing adventitious defilements is Nibbana. Nibbana is not made, not created, not produced during this process. It is just the nature of mind without any adventitious defilement.
Another metaphor is the sun and clouds. When the clouds disappear the sun appears, but the sun was always there. It is wrong to belief the sun is created while clouds disappear. Likewise Nibbana.
Mind without defilement is unburdened.
If Nibbana was created due to the eightfold path or some practise it would be conditioned. It is not. It is in no way made, produced, fabricated.
The fact there is an umade, unbecome, unborn, undying is, i belief, the stable element in ourselves. I belief in the end there is no difference between ourselves and Nibbana. This does not mean Nibbana must be seen as mine or me.
The idea that an “I” experiences or attains Nibbana is due to kilesa, asmi mana. It is not true.
So, i think, stability is real.
February 20, 2019 at 9:24 pm #22032
“If Nibbana was created due to the eightfold path or some practise it would be conditioned.”
It is essential to realize the following:
– Nibbana is NOT CREATED.
– Nibbana is ATTAINED when all defilements or CAUSES (greed, anger, ignorance) are REMOVED from one’s mind.
– The Eightfold Path is the WAY TO REMOVE defilements.
When one removes ALL CAUSES then one ends up with the UNCAUSED (i.e., no causes remain) and UNCONDITIONED (Nibbana).
The CAUSES are greed, anger, ignorance.
P.S. We do accumulate punna kamma (and cultivate the three good roots of alobha, adosa, amoha) while we are on the Path. But at the end, at the Arahant stage, all those are also given up when wisdom (panna) reaches its peak.
– Therefore, the net result is that when panna is at peak, one sees the futility of even a trace of anything to do with the 31 realms. That is the “full Nibbana”.
March 23, 2019 at 9:42 am #22497
Previously you wrote: ‘Not that it (the flame) has not gone anywhere, because that would not be consistent with Nibbana being icca, sukkha and atta, simply that we can have no conception of where it has gone. Certainly beyond the 31 realms in sansara’.
Somehow, it seems to me that implicit in these statements is the view that the flame has some kind of identity of its own. But can the identity of the flame be established apart from its patavi, apo, tejo and vayo dhatu? If its patavi, apo, tejo and vayo dhatu have passed away and do not arise again, then where is the flame?
It is like if you try to find the essence of a table in its parts, you cannot find it. Is the table referring to the tabletop without its legs? Or is it referring to the legs of the table without the tabletop?
In the Anuradha Sutta (SN 22.86), Ven Anuradha learns from the Buddha that when he could not pin down the truth or reality of The Buddha even in the present life, it would not be valid for him to describe the fate of The Buddha after Parinibbana as otherwise than with these four positions: The Tathagata exists after death, does not exist after death, both does & does not exist after death, neither exists nor does not exist after death.
Instead through a series of wise questions, The Buddha skilfully explained to Ven Anuradha about the anicca, dukkha and anatta nature of the five khandhas and that The Buddha Himself could not be equated with the five khandhas: rupa, vedana, sanna, sankhara or vinnana, nor could He be found as a part of them, nor apart from them, nor could He even be found in them as an aggregated whole.
Instead, The Buddha only describes dukkha and its cessation, which is referring to paticca samuppada cycles. Elsewhere in numerous suttas, The Buddha has described that what is erroneously taken to be the Self is actually a collection of processes of PS.
For example in Channa Sutta (SN 22.90): (“Everything exists”: That is one extreme. “Everything doesn’t exist”: That is a second extreme. Avoiding these two extremes, the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma via the middle: (PS))
Yamaka Sutta (SN 22.85) is also a useful and similar read. It helped Ven Yamaka correct his erroneous view of self-identity to attain Nibbana.
Hope this helps!
March 23, 2019 at 10:32 am #22502
It could be that phenomena in the world deceive us due to our avijja (ignorance) and because their apparent natures appear so convincing.
Because we hold the wrong views with regards to worldly phenomena, we react with tanha and upadana to pleasant phenomena because their very nature appears so pleasing and enticing.
Next, kamma then acts as the fuel that sustains us ceaselessly round and round in samsara, with tanha as the driving force.
Due to avijja, we may think that we are alive because we have a Self or soul. Actually what sustains our lives may be nothing more than nama jivitindriya and rupa jivitindriya (where jivitindriya means ‘life-faculty’). Nama jivitindriya vitalizes cittas and cetasikas supported by kamma while rupa jivitindriya vitalizes rupa. It might be helpful to take a look at ‘Abhidhamma in Daily Life’, since I could not find a translated version of The Abhidhamma in “Access to Insight”.
Thus due to the collective influence of avijja, tanha, kamma, nama jivitndriya, rupa jivitindriya, vedana, sanna, sankhara, vinnana and possibly other cetasikas, we mistakenly perceive a self or ego.
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