Yamaka Sutta (SN 22.85) – Arahanthood Is Not Annihilation but End of Suffering

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    • #23313


      I would say this one of the most important posts here as posts about Anicca nature. This sutta clearly says that Anatta is not “NO/NOT SELF”, to even explain it more clear we can take this example of a whirlwind.

      As the wind blows it takes sand, leaves, small pebbles and everything along the way creating a whirlwind, whirlwind creates form and one who is actually not aware of wind can see the form or a person there thinking that is something else then it really is.
      That’s why Buddha never said there is “no self” or “self” – it’s a different level of insight then this propagated by people who are stuck into this thinking process in those two terms

      The wind is PS cycles, one’s winds stop to blow – where it did go? I did not go anywhere but causes for it to blow are gone. Same with existence. This post especially first sentence literally clears up every misconception about Anatta one can have that even child should understand to some extent.

    • #23323

      Not annihilation, so does that means that there are still “something” exists after an Arahant had passed away? Or there is “nothing” left at all? No dukkha, but no sukkha ad well, since there is “nothing” left?

      A puthujjana will crack his head trying to figure out what’s is it like after an Arahant had passed away, but he will continue cracking his head forever…if he remains as a puthujjana!

      Dhammapada verse 92:
      Arahats do not hoard (anything); when taking food they reflect well over it (i.e., in accordance with the three parinnas). They have as their object liberation from existence, that is, Nibbana which is Void and Signless.
      Their destination, like the course of birds in the air, cannot be traced.

      Maybe the following text can shed some light for a puthujjana…

      A plausible explanation is necessary for the traditional silence regarding the state of the arahant after death. Existence in the world implies time and space. One exists within a particular period in a particular space or locality. If one passes beyond time and beyond space, it is not possible to speak of existence with reference to such a one. To speak of both time and space one needs a point of reference, e.g. A is 50 years old. This means 50 years have passed since the event of A’s birth. If A is not born, it is impossible to speak of “time” or existence with reference to him. Similarly with space. Without points of reference it is not possible to grasp space. There is a definite distance between any two specific points. Nor can one speak of direction without a point of reference. When the notion of “I,” which is the point of personal reference, is eradicated, one goes beyond time, beyond space, and beyond causality. Therefore it is not possible to speak of the liberated being as existing or not existing.

      Here we are reminded of a statement made by Fritjof Capra in his Tao of Physics relevant to our present context. He states: “Physicists can ‘experience’ the four dimensional space-time world through the abstract mathematical formalism of their theories, but their visual imagination, like everybody else’s, is limited to the three-dimensional world of the senses. Our language and thought patterns have evolved in this three-dimensional world and therefore we find it extremely hard to deal with the four-dimensional reality of relativistic physics.”[99] Thus, when the four-dimensional reality too eludes the perceptual experience of the average man, how can Nibbana, which transcends all these four dimensions, come within mere verbal experience? Therefore it is impossible to speak of the arahant’s state in terms of existence or non-existence.

      From: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/desilva/wheel407.html

    • #23326

      Let us not go this way again. One can not think out the experience of Parinibbana prior to attaining it as a person can not think out the new color that he does not know as thinking process only revolves around what we know already.

      The point is that self cannot be the basis of itself so it can not be no/not-self as anatta.

      One will have a glimpse or understanding/experience of what Nibbana is when one follows 8 fold Path otherwise using any conventional ideas will only bring more corruption to Dhamma and wrong views especially by those people who did not even reach Sotapanna.

    • #23327

      Puthujjana wrote: “Not annihilation, so does that means that there are still “something” exists after an Arahant had passed away?”

      The correct way to think about a “living being” is not think as an ever present “person”, but as a collection of five aggregates that keeps changing even moment-to-moment. It is a good idea to take time and slowly re-read the full post again and again.

      For an unfathomable time, we all have evolved without a pause. Even in the present life we evolved from a tiny cell in mother’s womb to the present dense body.
      – Before that our five aggregates evolved as devas, brahmas, animals, petas, etc. There was no “identity” as “person X”.
      – Even in this life, we do not look or think like the same “person” a few years ago.

      This of course takes a lot of contemplation to fully understand. That is why becoming a Sotapanna is not so easy. The Buddha, upon attaining the Buddhahood, realized how hard would it be for normal humans to comprehend his deep Dhamma.
      – But it can be done, and it is a gradual process, as explained in the post that I mentioned earlier: “Is It Necessary for a Buddhist to Eliminate Sensual Desires?“.

      Going back to your question of “Not annihilation, so does that means that there are still “something” exists after an Arahant had passed away?”

      It may become clear by realizing that Nibbana and the “this world of 31 realms” are what are called “mututally exclusive”, i.e., “either here or there”. If one is a living being in this world, he/she has not yet “merged with Nibbana”. Even an Arahant has not reached “Parinibbana” or “full Nibbaba” until the death of the physical body.
      – Once merged with Nibbana, there is no trace of that lifestream in “this world of 31 realms”.

      Another way to say it: “This world of 31 realms” has citta, cetasika, and rupa as paramatta Dhamma. They are arise via the Paticca Samuppada process.
      – Nibbana is the “state” that is reached when all those are stopped from arising. There are no citta, cetasika, rupa “in Nibbana”.

    • #23328

      I do not think so there will be any satisfactory answer to it until one can start making any effort in 8-fold Path. What happens after Nibbana? Nibbana of course.

      The closest explanation I can give is that Nibbana becomes the dominant “layer” before anything at the stage Arahanthood but before that other aggregates can be still dominant like in Sotapanna stage because of yet to be resolved avijja.

      As Lal said: “Nibbana is the “state” that is reached when all those are stopped from arising. There are no citta, cetasika, rupa “in Nibbana””

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