- This topic has 8 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 6 months, 2 weeks ago by Lal.
September 11, 2022 at 4:35 pm #40313
#1 (a problem solved in the course of writing)
I liked national geographic documentaries when I was young. I grew up watching science fiction movies and novels. These experiences hindered me from accepting that “our world consists of 12 ayatanas.” Because I saw many aspects of various sensory organs, including insect antennae. So it was somewhat difficult to accept that the total range of senses is 12(internal 6+ external 6). What I was curious about is how many forms of indriya can there be. I guess it varies widely depending on gati. So I know that this problem is also linked to cosmology. As the universe is wide, there are many possible forms of indriya. In the Paticca Samauppada, as long as we crave something, there will be a way to sense it. But anyway, in this sutta, the main point is āyatana, not indriya.
#2 (the main subject)
The real question is the following: I have been worried about what if Nibbana is not the final achievement.
Think about it. It’s easy for us to see that something exists, but it’s very hard to see that something can’t exist. We identified black holes with the development of observation technology. So the area that the average person can judge is the fact that something exists and/or the possibility that something can exist. But it’s extremely hard to know that something can not exist.
Because that statement must consist of the information of the complete whole world. If it doesn’t, the information that something can not exist must have the possibility that something can exist. I’m sorry that the sentences are messy. I think my English is not good enough to express too abstract content.
So, the statement of sabbasutta is very meaningful to me. Because it presents the limit of the world.
Yo, bhikkhave, evaṁ vadeyya: ‘ahametaṁ sabbaṁ paccakkhāya aññaṁ sabbaṁ paññāpessāmī’ti, tassa vācāvatthukamevassa; puṭṭho ca na sampāyeyya, uttariñca vighātaṁ āpajjeyya. Taṁ kissa hetu? Yathā taṁ, bhikkhave, avisayasmin”ti.
Mendicants, suppose someone was to say: ‘I’ll reject this all and describe another all.’ They’d have no grounds for that, they’d be stumped by questions, and, in addition, they’d get frustrated. Why is that? Because they’re out of their element.”
(I hope that lal explains the meaning of Pali word avisaya.)
This is also the context in which I asked earlier.
But at that time, I didn’t know how to express abstract thoughts in English. So I couldn’t.
Anyway, the point is that one who can “see(inductively)” the limit of the world, how can he also know that “This is the final destination”? Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta also believed their achievement is Nibbana. But it wasn’t. (+ I think the word inductively might be a flaw because Buddha’s ability is acinteyya.)
Let me tell you the answer I gave first. In the (SN56.11)Dhammacakkappavattanasutta,
Buddha said: Yāvakīvañca me, bhikkhave, imesu catūsu ariyasaccesu evaṁ tiparivaṭṭaṁ dvādasākāraṁ yathābhūtaṁ ñāṇadassanaṁ na suvisuddhaṁ ahosi, neva tāvāhaṁ, bhikkhave, sadevake loke samārake sabrahmake sassamaṇabrāhmaṇiyā pajāya sadevamanussāya ‘anuttaraṁ sammāsambodhiṁ abhisambuddho’ti paccaññāsiṁ.
Yato ca kho me, bhikkhave, imesu catūsu ariyasaccesu evaṁ tiparivaṭṭaṁ dvādasākāraṁ yathābhūtaṁ ñāṇadassanaṁ suvisuddhaṁ ahosi, athāhaṁ, bhikkhave, sadevake loke samārake sabrahmake sassamaṇabrāhmaṇiyā pajāya sadevamanussāya ‘anuttaraṁ sammāsambodhiṁ abhisambuddho’ti paccaññāsiṁ.
translation: As long as my true knowledge and vision about these four noble truths was not fully purified in these three perspectives and twelve aspects, I didn’t announce my supreme perfect awakening in this world with its gods, Māras, and Brahmās, this population with its ascetics and brahmins, its gods and humans.
But when my true knowledge and vision about these four noble truths was fully purified in these three perspectives and twelve aspects, I announced my supreme perfect awakening in this world with its gods, Māras, and Brahmās, this population with its ascetics and brahmins, its gods and humans.
Therefore, the Buddha did not prove(with grounds) this point. Because it is practically impossible to prove logically. One has to be Buddha to prove by the observation that it is true. (I think this part may be wrong. But I couldn’t find where is it wrong and how to fix it correctly.)
In the (AN4.77)Acinteyyasutta, Buddha’s ability is unthinkable. Buddhānaṁ, bhikkhave, buddhavisayo acinteyyo, na cintetabbo; yaṁ cintento ummādassa vighātassa bhāgī assa.
So if there is a higher state than Nibbana, we can not know them. If not, the problem is solved! So what we really need to believe is that the law of the universe never accepts logical flaws. Then, based on the perfect integrity and explanatory power shown by Buddha Dhamma, we can validly derive that all option that any other final destinations may exist has a logical flaw.
Perhaps there is a better way of explaining, but I just can’t think of it.
If I am wrong, please tell me to fix it.
And the (SN22.97)Nakhasikhāsutta said:
“ettakampi kho, bhikkhu, rūpaṁ natthi niccaṁ dhuvaṁ sassataṁ avipariṇāmadhammaṁ sassatisamaṁ tatheva ṭhassati. Ettakañcepi, bhikkhu, rūpaṁ abhavissa niccaṁ dhuvaṁ sassataṁ avipariṇāmadhammaṁ, nayidaṁ brahmacariyavāso paññāyetha sammā dukkhakkhayāya. Yasmā ca kho, bhikkhu, ettakampi rūpaṁ natthi niccaṁ dhuvaṁ sassataṁ avipariṇāmadhammaṁ, tasmā brahmacariyavāso paññāyati sammā dukkhakkhayāya”.
translation: Mendicant, there is no form at all that’s permanent, everlasting, eternal, imperishable, and will last forever and ever. If there were, this living of the spiritual life for the complete ending of suffering would not be found. But since there isn’t, this living of the spiritual life for the complete ending of suffering is found.
So the Tilakkhana is the statement that something(that is nicca, dhuva, sassata, aviparinamadhamma) can not exist too!
I think that it shows Buddha’s supreme quality: Lōkavidu – “Lōka” + “vidü,” or having the ability to examine and explain any of the three worlds that encompass everything.
September 11, 2022 at 8:24 pm #40319
In my opinion, you need to take a different approach.
You wrote: “The real question is the following: I have been worried about what if Nibbana is not the final achievement.”
That means you have not understood the “wider worldview” of the Buddha.
– If one has understood the process of getting to Nibbana, one would have absolutely no doubts about whether Nibbana is the final achievement.
– That means comprehending the Paticca samuppada processes.
1. If you do not have doubts about the rebirth process and the laws of kamma, that is a good starting point. That is why I asked that question earlier too.
– Because the key premise of Buddha Dhamma is that there is a rebirth process involving 31 realms, four of which have unimaginable suffering.
– Paticca Samuppada describes how rebirths in different realms arise, starting with “avijja paccaya sankhara.” That ALWAYS ends up in “bhava paccaya jati” and “jati paccaya jara,marana, soka, ..”, the “whole mass of suffering.”
– There is no jati (birth) without old age and death. Furthermore, there is much suffering even during existence in the lowest four realms.
– Here, avijja is the ignorance of the Four Noble Truths/Paticca Samuppada/Tilakkhana.
2. My advice is to focus on that instead of Anapanasati.
– Anapanasati can be cultivated ONLY after getting rid of those doubts.
– Those doubts start to go away only when one starts comprehending the Four Noble Truths/Paticca Samuppada/Tilakkhana.
– As I pointed out today in another thread, getting rid of sakkaya ditthi is the key to the Sotapanna stage. Together with sakkaya ditthi, two other samyojana (vicikiccha and silabbata paramasa) also break. Vicikiccha includes doubts (such as the one you have) about Buddha’s teachings. Silabbata paramasa is the wrong view that one can attain Nibbana by following rituals.
– Nibbana can be attained only after comprehending the “wider worldview” of the Buddha; there is no need for rituals.
3. My apologies for being blunt. In my mind, it is better to be honest, and straightforward.
– I can see that you have a good analytical mind. However, no matter how intelligent one is, until one learns the fundamentals of Buddha Dhamma, there is no chance of significant progress.
– Those fundamentals are the Four Noble Truths/Paticca Samuppada/Tilakkhana.
– I am not sure about your understanding of Paṭicca Samuppāda. You can take a look at the posts in the “Paṭicca Samuppāda” section. But, of course, it is up to you to decide how you want to proceed.
September 12, 2022 at 6:27 am #40321LayDhammaFollowerParticipant
Differentiation between two state of object is manifested due to causality.
Difference are experienced due to having senses in first place. Senses comes due to tanha. Experiencing objects with anicca nature is always suffering, hence, why objects with Aniccā nature are not worth attaching to.
How can there be two different elements in absence of causality?
Nibbanā is not subject to casuality.
Nibbanā is ONLY unconditional element. It is accessed through removal of root causes. Root causes are six. They are responsible for arising of suffering.
Alara kalama and other person had ignorance regarding causality.
They thought that existence there doesn’t end. But, it does.
Buddha even before he started his quest to enlightenment in his last life, said that he will find DEATHLESS element.
A *PERMANENT* escape from suffering. Not temporary fix. That is why he was not satisfied with jhana.
Last argument is that let’s assume hypothetically there is some element other than nibbanā which is higher than nibbanā.
Someone who is Arhant or buddha, might not know this higher element.
But, what they know for sure is that six senses causes nothing but suffering to everyone. there is nothing worth experiencing through six senses at all. There is no purpose or meaning of senses at all. All sorts of inputs arises and passes away based on kamma vipakā. Yet, nothing stable, nothing enduring, satisfying.
There is Nothing that can give any being any true permanent security in desert of saṁsāra against all sorts of dangers that prevail here.
Other than dhamma there is no refuge.
So, In summary,
If you find out your house is burning with unstoppable fire, would you try to escape from it or no?
Even if you don’t know what is outside your house, does it matter? Because, there might be some danger outside your house or maybe not. But, would you want to escape from danger that is already present or no?
(Problem in nutshell is arising of senses, solution is eradicating those six root causes responsible for formation of senses.)
September 12, 2022 at 11:01 am #40341
LayDhammaFollower said: “Last argument is that let’s assume hypothetically there is some element other than nibbanā which is higher than nibbanā.”
I am not familiar with the pronoun expression in English. So the “last argument” is unclear to me exactly what it is referring to. But if it’s referring to my comment, no. I’m not assuming anything.
When I understand a concept, I ask all the questions I can. Because then what that concept means becomes clearer. I don’t execute this process to claim anything. To create a temporary hypothesis and test it is what scientists do. If the test result doesn’t match it, I just discard it. So, I’m just interested in reaching the correct answer. I am not trying to argue that my hypothesis is correct.
I understand what you’re trying to say, too. And I believe that that is correct. But I also want to understand Dhamma with thorough verification. Someone will grapple with the same problem as me. And I want to say something helpful to someone like that if they are around me. I know I was wrong. I just want to know which part is. That’s why I honestly posted my errors. Though I have not yet achieved any maggaphala, I think it’s the right way to say that I don’t know what I don’t know, and I know what I know.
I know you wrote it with a heart to help me. That heart is very precious, and I’ll take it with thanks. The important thing to me is to understand the deeper side of Dhamma by purifying the mind. Lal seems to have given me a good answer in that regard.
Anyway, I got a feel for what I was supposed to do after hearing from lal and layDhammaFollower. Thank you for your good advice.
September 12, 2022 at 11:05 am #40342
When I understand a concept, I ask all the questions I can.
=> When I try to understand a concept, I ask all the questions I can.
September 12, 2022 at 12:20 pm #40343
Yes. It is good to ask questions.
– But sometimes, some questions become irrelevant because the basis for asking them is not there.
– Of course, many of your questions have been “legitimate.” The problem is with the last question: “The real question is the following: I have been worried about what if Nibbana is not the final achievement.”
– That question would not come up if one understood the “wider worldview” of the Buddha and how he explained how to stop future suffering. If that worldview is understood, it will automatically become clear WHY that is the final solution.
The following question you asked in the first post could be a good start.
“So, the statement of sabba sutta is very meaningful to me. Because it presents the limit of the world. “Sabba Sutta (SN 35.23)”
“Yo, bhikkhave, evaṁ vadeyya: ‘ahametaṁ sabbaṁ paccakkhāya aññaṁ sabbaṁ paññāpessāmī’ti, tassa vācāvatthukamevassa; puṭṭho ca na sampāyeyya, uttariñca vighātaṁ āpajjeyya. Taṁ kissa hetu? Yathā taṁ, bhikkhave, avisayasmin”ti.
“Mendicants, suppose someone was to say: ‘I’ll reject this all and describe another all.’ They’d have no grounds for that, they’d be stumped by questions, and, in addition, they’d get frustrated. Why is that? Because they’re out of their element.”
(I hope that lal explains the meaning of Pali word avisaya.)” (END OF QUOTE)
Let us start with the question you had there. That may help, indeed.
– “avisaya” in this context means “not discernible” or “does not have enough knowledge about.”
– Thus, no one but a Buddha has the necessary knowledge base. That subject is “avisaya” for any human, no matter how intelligent.
1. Scientists are making discoveries about the world, But they will never reach the “knowledge base” of a Buddha.
– I discussed that concerning the origin of life (origin of consciousness) in the series on “Origin of Life.”
– Reading that series requires a matching background and enough interest to spend the time reading through. But that may match your background.
2. The other point I want to make is regarding the “Sabba Sutta.”
– As explained at the beginning of the sutta, “everything in this world” is included in the six sense faculties and the six types of rupa in the external world.
– When the rebirth process stops at the death of an Arahant, the current hadaya vatthu (with the set of pasada rupa) dies, and no new hadaya vatthu can arise.
– That the “end of the world.” That lifestream would not experience this world of 31 realms anymore. Any birth within the rebirth process is INTRINSICALLY associated with decay and death, i.e., suffering.
– Thus, attaining Arahanthood IS the final solution. What else can be there if the whole world is absent?
3. I know that talking about “stopping rebirth” is unsettling to many people.
– That is because of the wrong view and perception of a permanent “me” that has been with us from a timeless beginning.
– On the other hand, if there is a “permanent self/me,” why worry about stopping rebirth? It is best to move forward step by step. P.S. If there is a “permanent self/me,” then it is baseless to worry about losing it at Arahanthood.
– Yet, for some (like you), such issues may be “nagging.” In that case, reviewing the “Origin of Life” could be beneficial to see why Buddha’s worldview has “better explanatory power.”
September 12, 2022 at 12:35 pm #40344LayDhammaFollowerParticipant
By last argument, I meant Last argument in my post. I should have wrote, “My last argument” Dosakkhayo.
September 12, 2022 at 2:55 pm #40346
“Yes. It is good to ask questions.
– But sometimes, some questions become irrelevant because the basis for asking them is not there.
Scientists are making discoveries about the world, But they will never reach the “knowledge base” of a Buddha.
– That the “end of the world.” That lifestream would not experience this world of 31 realms anymore.”
– These really help me a lot. I think I should focus on getting maggaphala and then think about delivering Dhamma to others. Of course, introducing Pure Dhamma will not stop. But I think it’s the proper order to do it myself after I become ariya.
– Also, I thought it would be good to set a good precedent. I hope that when someone has this kind of concern, later on, one can listen to your answer and move on correctly. I was able to ask that question because I have faith that lal is ariya. If not, I could not have been able to do it at all. Although I didn’t know about it, I believed Ariya would know the right words to say to someone in this situation.
– I just found that I’m trying to draw an answer from people without realizing it. I felt that this habit could be dangerous. I try to be as honest as possible, but I’m also afraid that the answers get contaminated as they mix in my responses. Anyway, I’ll think about this personally.
“By last argument, I meant Last argument in my post. I should have wrote, “My last argument” Dosakkhayo.”
– Now I understand the context. Thank you for telling me LayDhammaFollower.
September 12, 2022 at 3:47 pm #40347
Happy to hear that, Dosakkhayo!
– Different people have different ways of getting into the Path. We are glad that you found a way.
– Yes. The priority is getting to magga phala.
Thanks to LayDhammaFollower for his input!
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