May 9, 2019 at 3:31 pm #22983
I would like to ask to you, what does ending of sakkaya ditthi personally mean for you in daily life?
Sakkaya ditthi is treated in MN44 but i do not find that easy to translate to daily life.
Does it in a practical sense mean that one does not manifest oneself as this or that kind of personallity? Surely, we people are always manifesting ourself as this or that personality, being nice, being friendly, being spontaneous, enthousiastic, optimistic, pessimistic etc. and we manifest ourself as such a person. It is almost like we want to sell ourselves.
Can we say this ends totally when sakkaya ditthi ends because one does not belief anymore one is that persona which one is sharing with others? One does not try to impress anybody anymore and stops this dramatic play. One starts to feel it is not right. It is not really who i am, not me, not mine.
So one evolves to openess? Is that what it really means? One does not conquer space or the other person by a dramatic play of personallity, but is just present in a modest and open manner? One does not worry, ‘Siebe is:optimistic, powerful, wise, never tired, this or that’ so he must present himself that way’. Is it something like this?
Your thoughts on this are very welcome.
May 9, 2019 at 8:11 pm #22987
Here are a few key points to think about.
1. Sakkaya ditthi is one of three samyojana that need to broken to attain the Sotapanna stage of Nibbana.
2. Samyojana are “bonds” that binds one to the rebirth process (also called sansara or samsara).
When all ten samyojana are broken, one will be free of all attachments (bonds) to the rebirth process, and will never be born anywhere in the 31 realms of this world, none of which is suffering-free.
– There is absolutely no suffering in Parinibbana (after the death of an Arahant).
3. Sakkaya ditthi is really about the first comprehension of the sufferings and the dangers in the rebirth process. We tend to think in terms of human births, and tend to disregard other realms.
– But most humans are reborn in the four lower realms including the animal realm. That is the danger to be understood in order to break sakkaya ditthi, a bond to the rebirth process.
4. Sakkaya comes from “sath” + “kaya”, where “sath” means “good.” Now, “kaya” can mean two things: one’s physical body or one’s actions.
Sakkāya ditthi encompasses mainly two views: (i) “I am my body,” and I need to keep it beautiful above all. (ii) I can achieve happiness by diligently pursuing (good) things in this world.
– More details at, “Sakkāya Ditthi is Personality (Me) View?”
So, these are the key points that one needs to contemplate on, if one wants to overcome sakkaya ditthi and to attain the Sotapanna stage.
October 6, 2019: Ihave replaced original #4 and #5 with just #4 above.
May 9, 2019 at 8:16 pm #22988Johnny_LimParticipant
“One does not try to impress anybody anymore and stops this dramatic play. One starts to feel it is not right.”
One of the ways I understand sakkaya ditthi is as such: when a person feels great importance and priority on whatever he is doing that can accentuate, flex, satisfy his ego, it is of essence, worthy to do it. To see it otherwise is sakkaya ditthi removed. In other words, a person who has sakkaya ditthi removed sees the fostering of his self ego being a futile effort. It can only bring forth more dukkha consequently if he strives to feed his ego.
Another understanding of sakkaya ditthi is to see there is no permanent unchanging self. Neither is there no-self after death. Got causes and conditions, effect arises. No causes and conditions, effect ceases to exist. It is like seeing a shadow of a coconut tree casted on the ground on a hot day. As the sun shifts position throughout the day, so does the shadow of the coconut tree. The shadow of the coconut tree appears to us that it has shifted over time. In fact, it did not shift. It is not stagnant either. Got causes and conditions, effect arises. No causes and conditions, effect ceases to exist.
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May 10, 2019 at 5:48 am #22994
I realized that I had not answered this part of Siebe’s question: “.. what does ending of sakkaya ditthi personally mean for you in daily life?”
When one gets rid of sakkaya ditthi, one understand deep inside that there is nothing in this world that is worth killing, stealing, lying, etc, i.e., harming other living beings, especially humans.
– Such actions (dasa akusala) are going to bring much more harm than any temporary sense gratification.
The key is that one will AUTOMATICALLY respond to day-to-day situations with that mindset WITHOUT having to think about it. That saññā will be permanently ingrained to one’s mind (and that will hold through future lives); see, “Saññā – What It Really Means“.
– That change of mindset comes about by contemplating on the basic key factors that I discussed in my previous post above.
May 12, 2019 at 7:07 am #23033
Thanks for your answers. I have thought about this and i belief, based upon MN44 and other sutta’s sakkaya ditthi refers to identity views. I think SN22.1 reveals what it means when sakkaya ditthi has ended.
In daily life we live with certain identitiy views such as..i am strong, i am smart or wise, i am optimistic, i am a physical healthy person, a sportmanlike person, etc. We have an image of who we are and we want to be that way.
Those views relate to rupa, vedana, sanna, sankhara and vinnana. Reality does not care about our self-views, our images of ourselves. We can become handicapped and the view that we our a sportmanlike person can get really challenged. We can become pessimistic. We can become sick. All we think we are can be challenged.
With sakkaya ditthi we get afflicted when those changes happen and do not harmonise with our self-views. That causes constant stress. When sakkaya ditthi has ended this stress due to changes also dissappears.
I cannot say this is yet true for me.
May 12, 2019 at 7:43 am #23034
What I explained is what is in SN 22.1:
“4. Sakkaya comes from “sath” + “kaya”, where “sath” means “good” and “kaya” means “aggregates”. So, sakkaya ditthi is the wrong perception that the five aggregates of rupa, vedana, sanna, sankhara, and vinnana are good and beneficial”.
Sakkaya ditthi is the attachment to the five aggregates based on the conviction that those rupa, vedana, etc are good for oneself. While that may be true in the short run, it is not true in the rebirth process where one could be born an animal or worse.
– This is why it is not possible to grasp Buddha Dhamma without taking a long-term view. If one does not believe in the rebirth process (and that one COULD be born an animal or worse), it is impossible to grasp Tilakkhana and get rid of Sakkaya Ditthi.
– When one loses Sakkaya Ditthi, one’s mind becomes free of a large fraction of defiled thoughts. That is the first stage of “cooling down”.
However, as I said elsewhere, different people comprehend things differently at one’s own level of understanding.
May 12, 2019 at 10:32 am #23035
I do not really understand this Lal. If a human being, if we, are nothing more than an ever changing composition of rupa, vedana, sanna, sankhara and vinnana (which i do not belief), how can the ending of all that we are be good for oneself? It would mean that one stops to exist in any way.
Is that good for oneself? Is it good for oneself not to exist anymore? I cannot belief this is buddha-dhamma.
May 12, 2019 at 11:33 am #23037
You simply have no clue or real experience of Dhamma and teachings of Buddha because of that you are trying to cook up things in your imagination. I will explain your position so you can reflect on this. Imagine there is you who is thinking what is beyond the fence but you are not willing to look beyond that fence and just lay down there thinking about what is beyond. Being absorbed in that thinking process so much you forgot about the fence and the real meanings of why you are near the fence and what to do with the whole situation. Lost in that situation you are making up things in your mind without to do any work to attain even glimpse of any factors of Nibbana. You are trying to think off results without even attending to practice like a person who is not willing to run but only think all day about how it is to run.
All your confusion will drop once you start to experience Nibbana, Dhamma and how things really are – right now you are lost case. I’m saying this with all compassion to you because being stuck in ignorance like that is not even funny, please start practice as fast as possible and get on right track otherwise you will succumb your chance by being idler who will only grow bitter and dissatisfied (or even worse – angry) with Dhamma.
This is how people are in this image. Stop being like that and get your things together.
May 12, 2019 at 3:54 pm #23039
Christian, i do not a moment belief in your compassion or concern for my welfare. I see a mind-set which does not not care about people’s welfare. You do not even care if your words are warm, welcome or helpful. You do not even know what is right speech.
When you see any lack of understanding, with me or others, your words often border on anger.
Somehow you seem to enjoy belitteling people.
May 12, 2019 at 5:20 pm #23044
I’m pointing the way out for you in your struggle. You trying to first experience things without approaching Dhamma in practical/experiential way but expect to have understanding and experience before any efforts towards it – you are trying to achieve impossible, the quicker you get this the better for you and your future. From the start of being you have been pretty much antagonistic approach to Lal, this forum and message of Buddha here. I hope you are not just plain-trolling us but if you are sincerely about practice this is your time to turn into effort and do not hang over all time. Some questions can be only answered thru direct experience.
There are things beyond existing or not-existing, they are not graspable by mind and your thinking process, you will not figure it out that way. To understand Dhamma one needs to attain some factors of Nibbana to have at least glimpse of how things are so they turn into experience and wisdom. This is not hard to understand – just approach it the way I explained and for sure one way or another benefits will come. Start even with being moral and develop STRONG Sati so benefits will be there even just in mundane way.
You can not have idea how to be buff if you are just thinking about how it is – you need to start lift, learn about diet and supplements etc. same here, once you learn what to do – you do it and then you know it how it is – no other way around.
May 13, 2019 at 7:27 am #23050
Christian: “You trying to first experience things without approaching Dhamma in practical/experiential way…”
That is not true.
May 12, 2019 at 4:59 pm #23040
Siebe wrote: “I do not really understand this Lal. If a human being, if we, are nothing more than an ever changing composition of rupa, vedana, sanna, sankhara and vinnana (which i do not belief)..”
Can you explain what else is there in a human being or any other living being?
All living beings, except beings in the asañña realm (who have only the rupa aggregate), have those five “kāya” or aggregates, and nothing else.
It is easy to see this point by just looking at the rupa aggregate. When a human is reborn a brahma, that brahma will have a very fine body, very different from the human body. If reborn as an animal, it will be the body of that animal. So, there is nothing to be proud about one’s own physical body, and it will not last long either (100 years is negligible in the sansaric time scale).
– (Of course, one’s own body is only a tiny part of the rupa aggregate, it is called ajjhatta kāya).
This is the key to understand what is meant by Sakkāya Ditthi.
May 13, 2019 at 7:20 am #23049
A sutta in Udana states that if there were not the unconditioned, an escape from the conditioned is impossible. This is for me the crux of buddha-dhamma. The only thing that can count as a real refuge is the unconditioned. It is the only stable element.
This stable element is ever present and all pervasing. Also now. It cannot be not present. With the unconditioned no arsing can be seen, no vanishing and no changing in the meantime, a sutta teaches. It differs from the conditioned because with the conditioned an arising can be seen, an ending and change in the meantime.
The Buddha teaches us the Path to the unconditioned and that starts by seeing the unconditioned. The unconditioned is not something which will be only present in the future, after long search and practice, but it can be seen immediately. The unconditioned is in no way result of practise, in no way result of vigour, in no way a result of anything.
You ask: Can you explain what else is there in a human being or any other living being?
It is the unconditioned element, Nibbana. Nibbana is always present, and it can only be obscured by adventitious defilements. It is due to defilements that Nibbana is not immediately experienced or seen by us or mind. It does not take any time to see Nibbana, but it takes time to remove obscurations, defilements. The aim of practice is to remove obscurations so what is allready present, ultimate peace, the unconditioned, will reveal itself. Like the sun reveals itself when clouds dissapear. I belief that is a very nice and accurate analogy. Also in jhana more and more obscurations dissappear. As a natural result mind gets more and more subtle, pliant, peaceful and applicable. It is only due to the effect of obscuration that our mind is not all the time pliant, peaceful and so applicable.
Also, the Buddha teaches in many sutta’s to see rupa, vedana, sanna, sankhara, and vinnana as: ‘this i am not, this is not mine, this is not myself’. I belief, this is not only some skillful means, but sutta’s clearly state this is how it is. We are not the khandha’s and we do not posess them too. Both views- thinking we are the khandha’s and that we possess khandha’s- are sakkaya ditthi (see MN44).
It is only the influence of defilements such as wrong view and avijja and tanha which makes us to belief we are the khandha’s or think that we possess them. This I-making and mine making is defiling the mind. As long as we function this way, rebirth continues. When this spell/delusion ends rebirth also ends.
But even in this life the nature of an arahant or Buddha cannot be explained/designated anymore in terms of khandha’s. Even while others think the rupa (body) they see, is the Buddha, this is not ultimately true. Likewise, the real nature of any living being cannot really be explained in terms of khandha’s, also not our own nature. But, still, as a result of I-making and mine-making we keep making such wrong identity views.
The unconditioned element reveals itself spontaneously, effortless, when obscuration are eliminated with effort.
If you or Christian or anyone else with magga phala cannot agree on this, that would really surprise me. If you really do not agree, i would appreciate a contentual comment, because i want to really understand what is wrong.
At the moment, I belief, all i say is in line with Buddha-Dhamma.
May 13, 2019 at 11:33 am #23056
Siebe wrote: This stable element is ever present and all pervasive. Also now. It cannot be not present.
Siebe, you have made a common error in trying to define what Nibbana is. Nibbana is realized after the removal of causes for existence in sansara. With the structure of our language, it is more appropriate to think of it in negative terms (what it is not), rather than in positive terms (what it is).
Nibbana is spaceless and timeless, unconditioned by space and time. Therefore it is invalid to think of it as being ever present. To be ever present, it must be present in space all the time. Likewise, we cannot think of Nibbana as being all-pervasive. It is simply not possible to define Nibbana by space and time.
Time is indeed conditioned. When we experience the present, it almost immediately passes into the past. Therefore, it changes.
Furthermore, according to Einstein’s theory of special relativity (if Lal agrees with the theory), two people can experience time very differently if they are travelling at vastly different speeds from each other. Time slows down more and more the closer we approach the speed of light. In fact, when a massless particle travels at the speed of light, time will stop for that particle. Lal, am I right to say so or is there something you disagree with?
In addition, beings in different realms also experience time differently. What may be one day in a deva realm might be years in the human realm.
Siebe also wrote: But even in this life the nature of an arahant or Buddha cannot be explained/designated anymore in terms of khandha’s. Even while others think the rupa (body) they see, is the Buddha, this is not ultimately true.
That is certainly true. Although Buddha is still functioning after attaining enlightenment and before Parinibbana, He cannot be defined in terms of the khandhas anymore because He has stopped clinging to them. This is supported by SN 22.36.
However, those who still cling to the khandhas, can still be defined in terms of the khandhas, although there is certainly no immutable, unchanging, permanent ‘self’.
Next, I would like to give my views on sakkaya ditthi. In my opinion, the identification with self consists of two parts — ‘objectification’ (due to the samyojana ‘sakkaya ditthi’) and ‘subjectification’ (due to the more subtle samyojana ‘mana’).
Those who have not attained the sotapanna stage may tend to think: ‘I am rupa’; ‘I am vedana’; ‘I am sanna’; ‘I am ‘sankhara’, or ‘I am vinnana’. They still identify themselves with the pancupadanakkhandha, thinking ‘rupa is mine’; ‘vedana is mine’, and so on.
Upon attaining the sotapanna stage and eradicating sakkaya ditthi, however, the being no longer identifies with the pancupandanakkhandha. However, a subtle ‘I am’ conceit still exists. This must be mana. It is only eradicated at the arahant stage. Support for this view of mine may be found in the Khemaka Sutta (SN 22.89).
I hope this helps. Please let me know if there is anything you disagree with.
May 13, 2019 at 8:52 am #23053
Siebe wrote: “You ask: Can you explain what else is there in a human being or any other living being?
It is the unconditioned element, Nibbana. Nibbana is always present,…”
There are four ultimate realities (paramatthathō):
Thought qualities or mental factors (cētasika)
The first three belong to “this world”. Five aggregates encompass those.
Nibbana does not belong belong to “this world”.
Therefore, Nibbana cannot be a part of any living being. Even an Arahant gets to “full Nibbana” or Parinibbana only after the death of the physical body.
May 13, 2019 at 11:53 am #23057
In my opinion, there cannot be a refuge for a living being if Nibbana is one thing and ‘a living being’ would be something completely different. If Nibbana would be one thing and a living being or mind would be something completely different, it is impossible to ever realise or even experience Nibbana. In other words, if Nibbana would be alien to ourselves we are lost.
We will never be able to make a refuge of ourselves, if, in deepest sense, we would only be unstable mental and phyiscal processes. I do not understand why this is not clear. Peace would be absolutely impossible when we are only fleeting processes.
The Buddha does not teach we are these fleeting processes. It is the other way around. He instructs us in many sutta’s to see that we are not those unstable mental and phyiscal processes. That insight will open the gate to the unconditioned.
While identifcation with rupa, vedana, sanna, sankhara and vinnana (anything conditioned) weakens, we become more and more stable. How is this possible when anything about us would be unstable?
May 13, 2019 at 1:11 pm #23059
Can you see that you are equating ‘we’ with Nibbana deep down?
In Nibbana, there is no longer any ‘we’, in the sense of clinging to an identity view. Of course, arahants and Buddhas still talk about themselves, but they no longer think of themselves as having any true selves. It is the clinging to self-identity that prevents us from attaining Nibbana. A living being would have to give up any conception of ‘itself’ in order to attain Nibbana, and to cease dukkha, unsatisfactoriness and suffering.
You are falling into language traps, which condition us to think of ourselves as being a definite agent and being. Yet ultimate reality is nothing like that.
Even the question ‘How is this possible when anything about us would be unstable?’ assumes a stable self that needs to be saved, and after saving, still retains the characteristics of a self or being.
But in reality, we are just a collection of physical and mental processes conditioned by avijja and tanha, blinded by self-identification, and desperately and unknowingly trying to keep the cycle going on and on forever, despite a nagging feeling that there is dukkha in it, and that we would suffer unhappiness, disappointment, pain and disillusionment, yet thinking that there is no other way but to continue on, grasping against all odds at mundane, worldly happiness that can never be permanent.
You also wrote: We will never be able to make a refuge of ourselves, if, in deepest sense, we would only be unstable mental and phyiscal processes. I do not understand why this is not clear.
‘We’ cannot make a refuge of ourselves, if by ‘we’ you mean dukkha and sansara. Nibbana is the only ultimate refuge, but The Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha serve as good temporary refuges for us before we attain Nibbana.
May 13, 2019 at 3:04 pm #23063
If it would be really true that we are only a series of mental and physical processes, and they would end at the death of an arahant, to never arise again, then is very obvious that an arahant or Tathagata does not exist after death! Does the Buddha teach this? No! This position he does not teach. Why not, if it would be true that an arahant is only the khandha’s?
May 13, 2019 at 1:01 pm #23058
“In my opinion, there cannot be a refuge for a living being if Nibbana is one thing and ‘a living being’ would be something completely different.”
One’s opinion does not matter. If you have evidence from the Tipitaka, please present the evidence.
“The Buddha does not teach we are these fleeting processes. It is the other way around.”
There are so many suttas say they are fleeting processes. We cannot make up what we like.
Please do not make your opinions to be facts. This is a forum on Buddha Dhamma, not a forum on philosophy.
May 13, 2019 at 2:50 pm #23061
In the sutta’s the Buddha instructs us to see and understand that any rupa, past, present, future, subtle, far, nearby, gross etc., any vedana, any sanna, sankhara and vinnana is not me, not mine, not myself. This is a basic instruction of the Buddha repeated on and on in khandha samyutta and many other places.
For example here: https://suttacentral.net/sn22.45/en/sujato
The Buddha wants to show us that whatever has the characteristic to arise, exist a while and cease, i.e. anything conditioned, we are not and is not mine. It is of no worth and it does not relate to who we really are. For example: vaci sankhara can stop, but when these stop, does one stop to exist? No. So, it is evidence-based we are not vaci sankhara. As example.
So, the Budddha clearly instructs that we must stop thinking we are those phyiscal and mental processes, whether it is rupa, vedana, vinnana etc.
This wrong thinking is going on since beginningless time. Now is the time to end this wrong habit that we are mental and phyiscal processes.
The fact that we, at this moment, see/understand rupa, vedana, sanna, sankhara and vinnana as me and mine, that is exactly what delusion means. We have sakkaya ditthi, mistaken identity views, such as: ‘I am the body i experience,’ or ‘I am what i feel’ or Í am what i am aware of’,or ..’the body is mine’, or ‘what i experience is mine’. These sakkaya ditthis are treated in MN44: https://suttacentral.net/mn44/en/sujato
So, the idea that we are a series of mental and phyiscal processes, a constant changing flux of processes, is exactly the wrong identity views we have to abandon.
So, from evidence from the sutta’s it is very clear that the Buddha does not teach we are the khandha’s. He teaches that this mistaken idea is de basic delusion present in any living being, except arahants and Buddha’s. Since beginningless time mind gets absorbed in what it experiences while it begins to see it as me and mine.
May 13, 2019 at 3:28 pm #23064y notParticipant
What you are saying is this:
Nibbana exists ,though NOT inherent in us until we ATTAIN It at Arahanthood,(my annotation), It is nicca,sukkha and atta; and the way to attain is by going beyond the 5 pancakkhandhas, beyond even the positive or wholesome in these( putting aside for the moment the assertion that ‘all vinnana is defiled’).
Now, in the absence of any connection to the pancakkhandhas, negative and positive, WHICH MAKE UP THE BEING,who or what experiences Nibbana? This is how ‘your’ being comes to be: though the pancakkhandhas are no more, still Nibbana is experienced; so, by whom is it experienced? For surely, if Nibbana is nicca, sukkha and atta, it must be EXPERIENCED as such, and if experienced, then ‘someone’ must be there to do the experiencing.
I will admit that no answer to this question, by anybody, has been to my complete satisfaction. Yet, I am not bothered by that in the least. Because the Buddha says that a Buddha (or an Arahant) neither exists,nor does not exist, both exists and does not exist, and neither exists nor does not exist. Has anyone ever been able to make anything of that? – except that, ‘it must be some state of which we have no conception of”? Now I have gone for Refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha; I have complete aveccappasada in the Buddha, I observe the Precepts to the best of my ability and order my life according to sila, again, to the best of my ability. That will do perfectly for me. The answer to that question ,then, must be one for which I am not yet ready, or, to put it bluntly, one which I do not deserve an answer to because I have not reached the stage which would enable me to comprehend the answer.
An analogy is this: I here am in the human realm, in kamaloka. To me the ultimate happiness is that which involves connection, ‘the other’, sense pleasures, if not gross, subtle. I cannot conceive how jhanic absorption, meditating alone, alone-ness in a brahma realm could be preferable to a deva realm. Yet a brahma existence is deemed higher than one in the kamaloka. So it must be that I can start to have a vague idea of that only after I am nearly done with the Sakadagami stage. Not before – as the song goes, the only way out is through.It is no use trying to figure out what it is to be an Anagami, an Arahant, a Buddha , just like it is of no use trying to explain all about sex to a four-year-old; 10, 11 years, and he or she will be ready.
This reminds me of when someone asks for help in resolving some problem about ethical conduct or some question necessary to clear up in order to progress, and is told, even if ‘with compassion’, ‘What you are doing is nowhere near Nibbana. Leave all that. Strive for Nibbana.’ It is like a maths professor telling a first-grader: ‘Look. Your difficulties with multiplication and division are not the real deal. The integral calculus, theoretical physics are the real deal. Set your mind on those.’ To which the student rightly replies: ‘Yes Sir. But to get to those, I must have basic arithmetic mastered first’. Now if the professor is unwilling to stoop to the level of an ordinary maths teacher, for the sake of that student, he’d better leave the student to an ordinary maths teacher – out of compassion, it is understood.
May 14, 2019 at 1:15 am #23085
Please see SN 22.36 again.
“If you have an underlying tendency for form, you’re measured against that, and you’re defined by what you’re measured against. If you have an underlying tendency for feeling … perception … choices … consciousness, you’re measured against that, and you’re defined by what you’re measured against.”
I think the sutta is saying that if we cling onto rupa, vedana, sanna, sankhara and vinnana, then we can be defined by those pancakkhandha. Hence we could take ourselves to be a stream of ever changing physical and mental processes.
But there is a caveat though. The sentence ‘We could take ourselves to be a stream of ever changing physical and mental processes.’ sets us up for a language trap, in that it conditions us to think of there being a personal agent, or an inherent self in the term ‘we’.
Can you try to explain these streams of ever-changing physical and mental processes without subtly fitting in the idea of a personal agent or inherent self in our everyday language? It would be hard, if not impossible, right?
Hence, while we are an ever-changing stream of physical and mental processes, there is no personal agent or inherent self involved in ‘we’. As such, there really is no one to experience Nibbana in the ultimate sense. Anyone trying to argue otherwise that there must be someone who experiences Nibbana is setting himself or herself up for ‘subjectification’ or ‘objectification’ of PS processes. It is a thicket of mistaken views that sets us up for being bound in sansara, as some sutta footnotes would state.
‘If you have no underlying tendency for form, you’re not measured against that, and you’re not defined by what you’re not measured against. If you have no underlying tendency for feeling … perception … choices … consciousness, you’re not measured against that, and you’re not defined by what you’re not measured against.’
Buddhas, Paccekabuddhas and Arahants are different from us. They cannot be defined by the pancakkhandas, as they have ceased clinging to them. They are immeasurable like the drops of water in an ocean or probably more. Therefore, to even think of them as having a definable Self that ‘exists or does not exist, or both exists and does not exists, or neither exists or does not exist’ is not valid.
After all, what exists? What does not exist? What both exists and does not exist? What neither exists nor does not exist? These questions all become invalid and meaningless in the ultimate sense. Of course until their Parinibbana, Buddhas, Paccekabuddhas and Arahants are still functioning. However, it is best to avoid thinking about the nature of their identities, lest we become embroiled in misconceptions and wrong views.
May 14, 2019 at 11:17 am #23113
I hope you do not hold this against me, but i belief Buddhism would be an extremely negative religion if it would aim at stopping the khandha’s to arise, while at the same time you and i would be nothing more than those five khandha’s. We would aim at going out like a flame after death, and nothing, nothing, would remain?
Why would one want to go out like a flame with nothing remaining? Is life really such a burden, or is the burden the defilement in the mind? I wonder, are those people who want to go out like a flame with nothing remaining, not driven by vi-bhava tanha, the longing not to exist anymore?
May 14, 2019 at 9:51 pm #23114
Look back upon your past life experiences and your current day-to-day life. Also examine the lives of people around you. Do you agree with The Buddha that there is dukkha in life? The world is burning with passion, hatred and delusion, isn’t it?
If you agree that there is dukkha, next examine Buddha’s teachings with an open mind. The ultimate aim of Buddha’s teachings is to stop the rebirth process and hence to end dukkha.
The Buddha has many noble and unsurpassed qualities. One of these qualities is that He has foremost knowledge of the nature of this world of 31 realms. Thus when He says that this world has the dukkha characteristic in it, it certainly bears listening to.
He has also seen how beings are reborn according to their kamma, and has immensely great power to go back many aeons in time to review the past lives of beings. He has profoundly deep historical knowledge, way more than any historians could ever hope to amass.
He has ultimate compassion and always acts with the interest and welfare of beings in mind.
He utters no falsehood and has stated that what the unenlightened world sees as happiness, He sees it as unsatisfactoriness or suffering, and what the unenlightened world sees as suffering, He sees it as happiness.
He has stated that His teachings are about dukkha and the cessation of dukkha, and has urged beings to practise so that they may put an end to rebirth and sansaric suffering or unsatisfactoriness.
He has also stated that His Dhamma is profound and hard to understand. That is no wonder too, seeing how much of the rest of the world finds it hard to accept.
If you think that there is any way to end dukkha while not ending rebirth, that would be at odds with The Buddha’s teachings. If you practise with these conflicting desires in mind, do you find it beneficial and helpful in the long run over years? Do you think agitation, disillusionment, and stress would likely decrease?
I, too, found it shocking at first, when I wondered if there would really be no way to exist permanently in Nibbana. But I realized that with that mindset, one could never really be free and happy even in much of a mundane sense in this current life. So I have practised letting go, and the results are really liberating, even if only in a mundane way.
I feel so much, much more carefree and at peace, not having to worry about whether I will cease to exist if I ever reach Parinibbana (of course attaining Parinibbana requires an immense amount of effort over many lifetimes).
You, too, would be doing yourself a world of good, if you stop being so concerned about whether or not you will continue to exist after achieving the ultimate goal of Buddhism.
After all, it is much, much better to live a lifetime of peace than a lifetime of half-heartedly resisting Buddhism and not experiencing the peace you could have as a result of fully accepting Buddhism, all because you became obsessed with what happens after Parinibbana.
I hope this helps.
May 14, 2019 at 10:06 pm #23115
In my above reply, I sincerely hope that you would benefit from what I wrote. At no time did I mean to make you feel bad. So I hope you will not see what I wrote in a negative light.
May you attain peace soon!
May 14, 2019 at 1:42 am #23086
The only way to know what is Nibbana, one needs to get rid of avijja and tanha. There is no other way, any speculative knowledge and guessing will only harm yourself and give your wrong idea about things. It’s will make your mind more unclear. Rather than think your way out to get what Nibbana is, apply the process which one can know and attain Nibbana? Do not let ignorance run out like that as you harming yourself by doing that. It’s really not that hard to understand if one stops a bit and give it a thought.
Again sybe, you can not make it up with the thinking process make sense out of it prior to attaining any magga phala as you will be going of opposite direction actually and that what you are doing and that what I mean you do not practice Dhamma but you practicing thinking about Dhamma.
May 14, 2019 at 3:13 am #23089vilaskadivalParticipant
A very concise explanation based upon various Sutta’s relating to Nibbana can be heard from Ven.Katukurunde Nanananda Thero who has given proper explanation on what is Nibbana and how should one understand it.
There are 33 sermons and a book of this one was also suggested by Lal in one of his posts. The only issue is with Anicca and Anatta explanation and other than that, it is a good place to understand on Nibbana.
In the Jatasutta of the Samyutta Nikāya, Buddha hints on Nibbana as under:
Yattha nāmañca rūpañca,
patigham rūpasaññā ca,
etthesā chijjate jatā.
Where name and form
As well as resistance and the perception of form
Are completely cut off,
It is there that the tangle gets snapped.
This answer is given by Buddha to a certain deity which asked a question on tangle within a tangle
Anto jatā bahi jatā,
jatāya jaitā pajā,
tam tam Gotama pucchāmi,
ko imam vijataye jatam
“There is a tangle within, and a tangle without,
The world is entangled with a tangle.
About that, oh Gotama, I ask you,
Who can disentangle this tangle?”
So basically, Nibbana is a stage where avijja of maha-bhuta’s no longer exist and tanha for possessing them does not exist, there arises Nibbana. In that neither I or we or anything which can be explained through language or syntax exist.
Thus, rupa, chitta and chetasika are of this world and nibbana is not of this world since there is no existence of rupa-nama. Thus there is no designation, language and vocabulary as in nama and no possession of rupa.
In another way, adhivacanasamphassa and paighasamphassa no longer is in contact or phassa and thus nama-rupa does not meet up thus stopping the vortex of samsara. This is also called nibbana.
It would be good to read about Maha Nidānasutta which not only explains PS but also gives indepth explanation of each paccaya especially on namarupa paccaya vinnana and vinnana paccaya namarupa. In that also, you can see nibbana arising when namarupa and vinnana is cut off. Meaning, the craving for nama-rupa is completely eliminated thus stopping the need for existence.
This stopping of existence is called nibbana
May 14, 2019 at 7:23 am #23108
The impression that there is someone inside us experiencing something is part of delusion. The sutta’s are very clear about this, right?
The notion of an-I-who-does-the-experiencing is yet part of our make-up. It arises due to latent tendency, mana-anusaya. This anusaya gets triggered when there is sense-contact. So, when there is sense-contact, there almost immediately arises the notion of an entity-I who sees, who hears, who thinks, who, speaks, who lives, who feels etc.
Still, this I-notion is not inherent to mind. Just like emotions, it comes and goes. But it is very subtle and it is very hard to see it coming and going. But the sutta’s and buddhist masters are clear, it is not really the nature of the mind, but an adventitious defilement clouding the nature of mind, i.e. clouding to see what really does the experiencing.
An “I” does not experience Nibbana, just as an I does not even experience a sound in daily life. This experiencer-I is the basic delusion, this sanna of an I who does the experiencing. There is also no I who experiences jhana. This is all delusion.
Masters who have reached arahatta magga tell us that when the center from which we experience the world vanishes, or, in other words, when the I-perspective in the mind totally vanishes, then what reveals itself at that moment, that will make an end to avijja.
One sees the truth about oneself. People who have reached this point describe it as ‘mind experiencing mind’ or seeing ones own true face or seeing ones true self, i.e. seeing this is no entity-I. They also describe it as unborn dimension, all-pervasive, deathless, just like the sutta’s do.
May 14, 2019 at 7:45 am #23109
No, you just believing things to your liking, that fits your world view or your expectations which is a sign of ignorance. The problems are not “self” neither “non/no self” but:
Ven. Kotthita: "How is it, friend Sariputta, is ... the ear the fetter of sounds or are sounds the fetter of the ear?..." Ven. Sariputta: "Friend Kotthita, the ... ear is not the fetter of sounds nor are sounds the fetter of the ear, but rather the desire and lust that arise there in dependence on both: that is the fetter there...."
“The impression that there is someone inside us experiencing something is part of delusion.”
Delusion is not about you being this or that but not seeing things as they are (not seeing Anicca nature, Anatta nature, how PS cycles are working in your mind, etc.)
“The notion of an-I-who-does-the-experiencing is yet part of our make-up. It arises due to latent tendency, mana-anusaya. This anusaya gets triggered when there is sense-contact. So, when there is sense-contact, there almost immediately arises the notion of an entity-I who sees, who hears, who thinks, who, speaks, who lives, who feels etc.”
Still wrong, this is hinduism (neti neti yoga) which Buddha discarded. When you see, hear, smell, think, touch, etc. what arises is avijja and tanha, not the notion of “I”. For example, if someone you like kick a ball and score a goal you are happy, but if it was done by someone you dislike you feel hate or you just do not like – even the action is the same, the action itself does not have any quality for you to dislike it or like it. Avijja gets triggered and tanha as your reaction towards six senses doors which got nothing to do with a self or no self.
Those are just wrong views you are speaking of that new age people get fixed all around the internet and not only around it.
May 14, 2019 at 10:36 am #23112
Christian: “Delusion is not about you being this or that but not seeing things as they are”
Yes, that’s comes down to the samen. Not seeing/understanding that it is no entity-I who does hear, see, live, die, smell, feel etc. is not seeing things as they are.
The basic delusion is all about identity Christian.
Even the first fetter, sakkaya ditthi, is about identity. This is explained in MN44. Our ingrained habit to identify with rupa, vedana, sanna, sankhara and vinnana, is sakkaya ditthi. Also, our ingrained habit to think that rupa, vedana, sanna, sankhara and vinnana are ‘mine’, is sakkaya ditthi. This is word by word explained in MN44.
The other subtle notion of ‘I am’ is called asmi mana and is also about identity. In normal language we talk about this as ego. It is the perception that we are a kind of steady mental entity. A mental entity which has needs like being seen, being respected, being loved, nurtured. It is in need of pleasure, status, power etc.
Mana does not need to be bad. If mana leads to the ending of mana, mana is oke. This is said in Nettippakarana, one of the guides of the Tipitaka.
Please read SN22.89 in which the arising and the vanishing of the notion I am is explained.
A normal human being cannot seperate asmi mana from the mind. A normal being thinks ego or the notion I am, is the nature of his/her mind. In other words, for a normal human being mind and ego are the same. The Buddha was able to see that asmi mana is also just an adventitious defilment and not intrinsic to mind. Mind can get rid of asmi mana. An heavy burden get lost.
-“The state of dispassion in the world is happiness, the complete transcending of sense desires, But for he who has removed the conceit ‘I am’— this is indeed the highest happiness.”
May 14, 2019 at 11:54 pm #23116y notParticipant
Arahants did not sit to figure out things ,They did not speculate, much less lie.
They KNEW ‘it is so’.
But can you say the same? Is it so for you? What can you do with something
that is not in your experience? You can repeat what you heard or read, but unless there is understanding, it will get you nowhere. And the time is wasted. These ‘masters’ you mention, they all claim to be enlightened, yet I know of not even a single one who has declared any stage of magga phala, mainly because their teachings are not based on the Tipitaka. That their declaration is of enlightenment not of magga phala is the giveaway here.
I can see what prompted Christian to conclude that only Ariyas should spread the Dhamma.
This is why I say you work from standpoints you fully comprehend and accept. At the outset ,for instance, you see whether you hold any wrong view; if so, reading through relevant posts on (miccha)ditthi will help, then on to resolving to live by the Precepts,becoming generous with others..and so on, things you can apply, things that will change your outlook on life and yourself. You can see real benefits. What difference does it make at that point whether a Tathagatha exist, does not exist, both exists and does not exist, neither…? However that may be, it will remain so, whether you comprehend it or not, whether you are here or not.
The emphasis is on what you can do, what you should do and what you MUST do – first to get on the Path and become free from the worst kind of suffering, then to progress on the Path and become free from subtler kinds of suffering through a fuller appreciation of Tilakkhana, the four Noble Truths, PS…you do not have to worry about the Goal, Nibbana, because That is guaranteed. Whatever it is, it must be worth striving for. But you cannot get ahead of yourself. The only step possible is the one immediately ahead.
May you attain final Release – in your own time.
May 15, 2019 at 12:03 am #23117
Parinibbana is a state where the five khandhas cease to exist. If rupa, vedana, sanna, sankhara and vinnana cease to exist, what kind of happiness is sensed, felt, perceived, thought of or otherwise experienced?
Yet Parinibbana is a blissful state, far more blissful than any state that can be sensed, felt, perceived, thought of or otherwise experienced by the five khandhas.
To me, I think The Buddha would fully agree that bliss and sukha could refer merely to the permanent cessation of dukkha, without any pleasant vedana, piti or other ecstatic or happy sensation associated with it. Therefore it is not necessary for any Self to experience it.
In the Pañcakanga Sutta SN 36.19, The Buddha stated that a bhikkhu going totally beyond the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, enters and remains in the cessation of perception and feeling. This is a pleasure that is finer than what is experienced by someone meditating in the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception.
If I am correct, the state of cessation of perception and feeling is only achieved by Arahants who attain Nibbana by cultivating the highest jhana.
The Buddha also stated that ‘…when He describes what’s included in happiness, he’s not just referring to pleasant feeling. The Realized One describes pleasure as included in happiness wherever it’s found, and in whatever context.’ Hence even when vedana and sanna cease, it is possible to experience sukha.
Nibbana Sutta: Unbinding AN 9.34 also states how extinguishment of defilements and afflictions is bliss.
Therefore, by simply having no dukkha in it, Nibbana is sukha, and this sukha surpasses any sukha that can be experienced in this world, even that of sense pleasures or the highest, most sublime jhanic bliss. Furthermore, this will be permanent.
We can compare Nibbana to sleep, although Nibbana is much, much more blissful than sleep. When a being is severely fatigued, sleepy and in need of rest, possibly the greatest happiness it can achieve is not from sensual pleasures, or even from jhanic absorption and bliss, but from a deep, restful, much needed sleep.
We are like the severely tired, and sleep-deprived beings on this sansaric journey, yet we have become obsessed with sense pleasures that further add to our burden and sleepiness, or we become obsessed with becoming this or that or, being averse to this or that.
All these add to our sleepiness, but we fear to sleep, because we are afraid to give up our obsessions with sense pleasures, or desires to become this or that, or not to become this or that. We are also afraid that we will never wake up from our sleep to again experience all those burdens that we mistakenly think of as happiness.
Yet, when we sleep, our minds are still not fully at rest. There is sankhara associated with breathing and the beating of our hearts and so on. However, in Nibbana, there is no sankhara and it is truly peaceful and happy indeed.
I hope this helps. I got the idea of comparing sleep to Nibbana from Lal, and have found it very helpful and beneficial. Thank you very much for teaching the Dhamma to me and all other beings, Lal!
May 15, 2019 at 1:01 am #23118
Perhaps I am going too far ahead, talking about Nibbana to someone who probably seems not to have fully accepted Buddhism yet.
Yet I believe that there will always be beings who need to be reassured that the ultimate goal of Buddhism is an acceptable and beneficial one, and not something frightening or harmful or even negative, before they will start to practise with full-hearted enthusiasm.
Therefore, I have tried my best to help Siebe and similar others in light of this consideration. Thus I see what I am posting as necessary, and hope that others can benefit from it.
May 15, 2019 at 6:39 am #23119
I belief the sutta’s make clear that the identification with the ever arising stream of conditioned phenomena in the mind (rupa, vedana, sanna, sankhara and vinnana) is part of what is called wrong identity-view, sakkaya ditthi.
We constantly graps at those arising phenomena, at this ever changing stream, as ‘me’ and ‘mine’. This habit is going on since beginningless time.
Our ingrained idea or perception that we are this constant arising stream of phenomena is described as the first and most important fetter that has to end trough wisdom, sakkaya ditthi.
So i find it strange that people keep insisting that we are only an ever arising stream of mental and physical processes. It seems to me this kind of thinking is feeding sakkaya ditthi.
Moreover, if there is nothing more for us to discover then that we are only an ever changing stream of mental and phyiscal processes, then aiming at ending this stream, is the same as aiming at non-existence. Right?
Yes, i admit, i am worried about this goal and people aiming at this goal. I cannot see this is a nobel goal. In my opinion this is vi-bhava tanha. The desire not to suffer in the future from the idea that after death one does not exist anymore. I think this is no striving for Nibbana nor any seeking for truth.
May 16, 2019 at 6:46 am #23134
“We constantly graps at those arising phenomena, at this ever changing stream, as ‘me’ and ‘mine’. This habit is going on since beginningless time.”
That’s simply not true. Constantly pushing this speculative idea will only bring yourself more harm and more suffering as one can not disassociate yourself from arising phenomena – is like the people who want to stop thinking process and say the same stuff as you but just change “me” and “mine” to “Thinking” and “thoughts. It’s pure nonsense which I already make clear about. The only thing you can do is to see the futility of things which got nothing to do with self/no self nor the objects of your perception. Even if we take your wrong understanding and play devil’s advocate so the only right thing with “I’m” making would be “I want this I want that, I want to be happy” – this would be proper sakkya ditthi as one realized that “I will never be happy” but “I” itself got nothing to do as it’s just agent which will exists till one attain full Nibbana. Using this as starting point to get yourself rid of yourself is just plain unwholesome as you are not the problem but TANHA and AVIJJA and only permanently getting rid of it one get rids of “I” on Arahant stage. Just yapping around that “I” is a problem one will become mentally ill or end up parroting views without any change in their experience in tanha and avijja.
May 16, 2019 at 8:19 am #23136
Sakkaya ditthi is explained in MN44. In that sutta, but many others, it becomes perfectly clear that sakkaya ditthi’s are identity-views like: “i am the body”, or “the body is mine’. Or, “i am feeling, or ‘feeling is mine’. This repeated for the other khandha’s too. There are also other sakkaya ditthi’s but i belief these are the main and most recognisable ones.
So, as long as one sees rupa, vedana, sanna, sankhara, vinnana as Me or mine the first fetter of sakkaya ditthi is still present. The consequence is that when changes happen in rupa, vedana, sanna, sankhara and vinnana and one sees these as Me of mine, one gets afflicted, many sutta’s teach. So, to end this affliction one must see with wisdom and see one is not rupa, vedana, sankhara and vinnana nor are those ours. many sutta instruct us to see rupa, vedana, sankhara, sanna and vinnana like this: this i am not, this is not mine, not myself’.
SN22.89 explains that once sakkaya ditthi has endded one has no views like this anymore: “I am this”…with regard to the khandha’s, but there still lingers a conceit “I am” in regard to the khandha’s. That had not ended yet.
That will end too when one keeps contemplating rise and fall of the khandha’s.
I do not know what is your problem with this. It is just described in the sutta’s that grasping rupa, vedana, sanna, sankhara and vinnana as me and mine, happens all the time. It is it one of the main causes for affliction/stress. The asava of views created these affliction.
An arahant is described as a person (or better, mind) without I-making and mine making.
Changes in rupa, vedana, sanna, sankhara and vinnana do not afflict that mind anymore.
Even if the body would fall apart due to poison of a snake, a sutta shows, mind without I and mine-making does not become disturbed. Mind without I and mine-making does also not perceive “I now enter this or that jhana” or “I now leave this or that jhana”. A sutta tells this was how Sariputta experienced it. He was totally free from I and mine-making. A true arahant.
May 16, 2019 at 9:18 am #23137
Repeating the same wrong views, again and again, does not make them right either. MN44 has wrongly translated sutta and what it’s spoken there has nothing to do with what Buddha meant there. Stopping the “I” making does not lead to the end of suffering, end of hate, greed, and lust, etc. You will be just more delusional then a regular person who just living life ignorantly about things and just following things like dogs follow the stick or bone.
You are repeating hinduism teachings which Buddha discarded, how hard is to understand that by thinking this way you will never get into Nibbana?
Sariputta explained it clearly it’s neither self (or any six sense door) or objects of perceptions but CRAVING which arise on the basis of AVIJJA (not knowing true nature of this world). Imagine being robbed by muggers that take fake money you have from a monopoly (but they do not know it and think it’s real) even that YOU (SELF) have been robbed you still does not suffer as that money is worthless.
May 16, 2019 at 11:02 am #23138
-“Therefore, I say, with the destruction, fading away, cessation, giving up, and relinquishing of all conceivings, all excogitations, all I-making, mine-making, and the underlying tendency to conceit, the Tathagata is liberated through not clinging.” (MN72§15, Bodhi, and there are many more).
13. “Venerable sir, how does one know, how does one see, so that in regard to this body with its consciousness and all external signs, there is no I-making, mine-making, and underlying
tendency to conceit?” “Bhikkhu, any kind of material form (rupa) whatever, whether past
or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, inferior  or superior, far or near – one sees all material form as it actually is with proper wisdom thus: “This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’ Any kind of feeling whatever.. .Any land of perception whatever…Any kind of formations whatever…Any kind of consciousness whatever.. .one sees all consciousness as it actually is with proper wisdom thus: “This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’ It is when one knows and sees thus that in regard to this body with its consciousness and all external signs there is no I-making, mine-making, or underlying tendency to conceit.” (MN109, Bodhi)
This is mine. This arises through craving (tanha,gaha). This is in the sutta’s called mine-making.
“This i am”. This arises through conceit (mana,gaha).
-“This is myself”. This arises due to wrong view (ditthi,gaha). This i called i-making.
This is how it is being explained. All i say is comform sutta’s and experience.
It is very obvious, also from a direct experimental of practical view, that identification with rupa, vedana, sanna, sankhara and vinnana leads to affliction, just like many sutta’s teach. So one has to break with this fetter/habit, sakkaya ditthi, and stop viewing rupa, vedana, sanna, sankhara and vinnana, as Me and mine.
May 16, 2019 at 11:17 am #23139
I am writing a post on this subject. Please hold further comments until I publish the Post.
May 16, 2019 at 11:28 am #23140
Sakkaya ditthi is also described in the sutta below. It also describes how does sakkaya ditthi leads to affliction and how ending of sakkaya ditthi leads to the end of affliction.
It is exactly like i say. That is not really important, but is not oke to become so judgemental and suggest Siebe does phantasize his own Dhamma or even hinduism.
Most important, what is said here in this sutta can be verified by ones own experience. One can really understand from this sutta why breaking with the habit of sakkaya ditthi is so important.
May 21, 2019 at 1:44 pm #23264
Now, after some time, i think the clue of sakkaya ditthi is that whatever kind of identity views we have in regard to the khandha’s, it will only lead to suffering.
The most obvious views for me are full identification…”i am rupa, vedana, sanna, sankhara and vinnana”. And…mine-making: rupa, vedana, sanna, sankhara and vinnana are ‘mine’.
Those i recognise best. I am not freed of them.
But today i realised (yes it is possible i realise things) there is another serie of sakkaya ditthi mentioned in MN44 which i now recognise. It are views like…a sound, a form, a smell, a feeling, a moment of will, pain, thoughts etc. happen or arise in Me.
So one postulates a Me or Self which is static, unchanging, and the other things one experiences are dynamic. So it is like a static self in which dynamic phenomena arise, exist a while and cease. This is also sakkaya ditthi.
I now think this is the way i often see things.
Surely i am not freed of sakkaya ditthi.
Your welcome Siebe
May 21, 2019 at 2:26 pm #23265
Again this makes no sense, will create more confusion and problems then it really is to solve. It’s not logical and will confuse people who will just start to believe how it is as they will have no way to figure it out. Please stop those misinterpretations as you yourself admitted that you do not let go or dissolved sakkaya ditthi which your wrong views on sakkaya ditthi can be results of sakaya ditthi.
If you translate it rightfully or use explanations of those Pali words you will clearly see it got nothing to do with “self”
May 21, 2019 at 10:16 pm #23270
Buddhism would be an extremely negative religion if it would aim at stopping the khandha’s to arise, while at the same time you and i would be nothing more than those five khandha’s.
I think Lord Buddha never define a “self” or “I”, he never said “you and i would be noting more than those five khandha’s”. Instead, he asked us to drop those useless questions of ‘Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where will it go?’ https://suttacentral.net/mn2/en/bodhi
And regarding the five khandha, as Ven Sariputta mentioned that whether you are just a monk (or even layman I suppose), or a stream entry, up to even an arahant, we should “attend in an appropriate way to these five clinging-aggregates as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a dissolution, an emptiness, not-self.” https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.122.than.html
The most obvious views for me are full identification…”i am rupa, vedana, sanna, sankhara and vinnana”.
Would you want to associate something like disease or cancer as yours? Definetly I think you will not want to, right? However, even if you want to, you can’t, because they are not your properties! Can you ask your body not to get old, sick and die? Can your ask your feeling not to feel bad ( after reading some disagreedable posts here in the forum :) )? Can you ask your memory to remember this and forget that, or forget this and remember that? In https://suttacentral.net/mn35/en/sujato, Lord Buddha give a smilie of why these five khandha cannot be assume to be our properties, cause we have no full say in them!
May 22, 2019 at 5:32 am #23274
Welcome to the forum, puthujjana!
I think you brought out a key point.
Siebe says: “The most obvious views for me are full identification…”i am rupa, vedana, sanna, sankhara and vinnana”.”
This is correct. The five aggregates (khandhas) is all “a person” is defined by.
However, the key is to understand that “that person” does not have control over them.
All those arise according to Paticca Samuppada (PS), starting with “avijja paccaya sankhara”.
– You can verify that all those five are in the PS cycle. One’s own body (part of the rupa aggregate) arises via the “bhava paccya jati” step.
As long as one acts with avijja (i.e., without the comprehension of Four Noble Truths and Tilakkhana), one will keep generating those five aggregates and be subjected to suffering.
– The problem is that we are blinded by intermittent bouts of pleasure (especially when born in the good realms).
– When one is born in “bad realms” (like the animal realm), one can experience the harsh sufferings, but then one is not CAPABLE of tackling the problem.
– That is why we are trapped in this suffering-filled rebirth process.
This is also why the Buddha said that there is no “self” who has CONTROL over the five aggregates (khandhas).
– When one acts with avijja, the five aggregates arise automatically, based on the PS cycle.
The only way to get out of this is to cultivate panna (wisdom) by following the Noble Path.
– When one starts acting with wisdom, one will be following the “Kusala-mula PS process” that will lead to eventual liberation from any suffering.
– The first step is to stop births in the apayas where the suffering is worst, and that is accomplished by getting rid of sakkaya ditthi and becoming a Sotapanna.
– Put it in another way: five aggregates corresponding to animal or other lower realms would not arise via the PS process after one becomes a Sotapanna.
This is a deep point that needs to be thought about carefully. I am still working on my promised post on Sakkaya Ditthi; I am thinking about how to express this as simply as possible.
It would be fruitful to focus on this point.
May 22, 2019 at 7:33 am #23278
The other key point is regarding the fear that many people have for “annihilation” by attaining Nibbana.
Conventionally, we say that an Arahant is not reborn after death. That sounds scary for many: “Why do I want to be annihilated?”.
– But the point is that there was no “enduring entity” to be annihilated!
Think about it this way: Suppose your name is John in this life. You die and are reborn a deva. Then you live that life and reborn an animal, etc.
– When you are a deva , you are not John. When you are born an animal, you are not that John either.
Furthermore, that John will be born many more times in the four lower realms than in human or higher realms. Thus that “lifestream” is subjected to much suffering than pleasures in the long run; see, “What Reincarnates? – Concept of a Lifestream“.
The best way to look at this is to say ANY AND ALL future suffering will be stopped at the death of an Arahant. Of course, MOST future suffering would be stopped after the Sotapanna stage.
May 22, 2019 at 8:50 am #23280
Too put it easier. Once one see Anicca nature of 5 kandhas they become “burning” once realize that one automatically discard any associate or craving in relation to those – like person who put hand into fireplace and his hand automatically draw back or as person who grabs coal in hand one drops it the moment one feel the burning but with hard shell of ignorance burning can not be felt or recognized so as you can see this got nothing to do with self or at least exclusively with self.
May 22, 2019 at 10:20 pm #23296
As a puthujjana, instead of seeing the five khandhas as a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien… one perceive them as a wellness, a blessing, a shield, a comfort, an advantage, dear. Why? One of the main reason is because a puthujjana is addicted to sensuality, bound to sensuality.
like person who put hand into fireplace and his hand automatically draw back or as person who grabs coal in hand one drops it the moment one feel the burning
However, a puthujjana just love to being burn by fire! From an ariya point of view, a puthujjana is like someone with skin disease, with no medicine and doctor, all he can do is to burn his skin with fire to get some comfort. As mentioned by Lord Buddha in https://suttacentral.net/mn75/en/bodhi:
“Suppose, Māgandiya, there was a leper with sores and blisters on his limbs, being devoured by worms, scratching the scabs off the openings of his wounds with his nails, cauterising his body over a burning charcoal pit; the more he scratches the scabs and cauterises his body, the fouler, more evil-smelling and more infected the openings of his wounds would become, yet he would find a certain measure of satisfaction and enjoyment in scratching the openings of his wounds. So too, Māgandiya, beings who are not free from lust for sensual pleasures, who are devoured by craving for sensual pleasures, who burn with fever for sensual pleasures, still indulge in sensual pleasures; the more such beings indulge in sensual pleasures, the more their craving for sensual pleasures increases and the more they are burned by their fever for sensual pleasures, yet they find a certain measure of satisfaction and enjoyment in dependence on the five cords of sensual pleasure.
May 23, 2019 at 7:50 am #23307
Good reference, Puthujjana.
However, getting rid of kama raga comes at the Anagami stage.
Before that one needs to get rid of sakkaya ditthi (topic of this discussion) together with vicikicca and silabbata paramasa: “Is It Necessary for a Buddhist to Eliminate Sensual Desires?“.
I have been trying to publish a post on the topic, but having some issues at the web host. Hopefully I will be able to publish it today.
May 23, 2019 at 8:16 am #23311
June 1, 2019 at 2:13 am #23499
On May 22, 2019 at 5:32 am, I briefly commented on what is meant by sakkāya ditthi, and promised to explain it in more detail.
Update on September 24, 2023: I think there is a better way to explain the anicca nature of this world. That is what someone needs to understand to become a Sotapanna by removing sakkaya ditthi. See “Anicca Nature- Chasing Worldly Pleasures Is Pointless.”
Recently published post: “Yamaka Sutta (SN 22.85) – Arahanthood Is Not Annihilation but End of Suffering” also discusses this basic point that there is no everlasting “attā” that attains Nibbāna”.
– Rather attaining Nibbāna means just stopping any future suffering for a given lifestream.
P.S. A few more posts will be published on this topic. I will add them here as they are published in this section:
“Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta“.
– The last two posts are under the subsection: “Sotapanna Stage and Tilakkhana” there.
September 24, 2023 at 10:13 am #46198Mystery MonkParticipant
In my opinion Sotapanna is the person who eradicated his/her clinging towards his/her personality.
He/she does not want to that or this type of person.
“Wanting to something become” is the first thing get irradiated in Sotapanna person.
=> Any type of clinging regarding MY existence is Sakkay Ditti.
Basically Sotapanna can enjoy the sensual pleasure but doesn’t want to become something via this pleasure or pain.
September 29, 2023 at 4:16 am #46240
That’s not true because “trying to become something/someone” is not root cause but consequence of ignorance. You need to find the first cause or first reason why person want to become something then you will find that the reason you talking about is wrong.
September 24, 2023 at 4:17 pm #46199
Do you agree with the following statements:
1. When encountering an “unpleasurable situation/sensory input,” an average human (puthujjana) knows only two responses: (i) to try to avoid it or (ii) to compensate for it by seeking a ‘pleasurable sensory input.’
2. An average human becomes a Sotapanna when realizing that the above mindset does not get one to be free of suffering. The above mindset only prolongs suffering in the rebirth process.
3. A Sotapanna also realizes that the way to be suffering-free is to detach from “worldly pleasures” gradually.
I explained this in the recent post: “Anicca Nature- Chasing Worldly Pleasures Is Pointless.”
You stated: “In my opinion Sotapanna is the person who eradicated his/her clinging towards his/her personality.”
- What you meant in the above statement is not clear. Is that close to what I summarized above?
- If not, please further clarify your statement. What kind of changes would a Sotapanna make in the personality to remove future suffering in the rebirth process?
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