Looking for Pāli text to Sammohavinodanī excerpt

This isn’t to do with an EBT, but I am wondering if any Pāli scholars here can locate the Pāli that corresponds to this passage:

  1. [Q. 5] But is not Nibbána destruction, because of the passage beginning, “That, friend, which is the destruction of greed … [of hate … of delusion … is Nibbána]?” (S IV 251).
    [A.] That is not so, because it would follow that Arahantship also was mere destruction. For that too is described in the [same] way beginning, “That, friend, which is the destruction of greed … of hate … of delusion … is Arahantship]” (S IV 252). And what is more, the fallacy then follows that Nibbána would be temporary, etc.; for if it were so, it would follow that Nibbána would be temporary, have the characteristic of being formed, and be obtainable regardless of right effort; and precisely because of its having formed characteristics it would be included in the formed, and it would be burning with the fires of greed, etc., and because of its burning it would follow that it was suffering.

SN 38.1 and SN 38.2

You’re after the commentarial passage, not the sutta sources, right?

I believe it is in the Āyatanavibhaṅga, Abhidhammabhājanīyavaṇṇanā. Having said which, not all of the translated passage seems to match up.

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BTW logic in the commentarial argument is beyond of my comprehension. Do any of you understand it?

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The question and answer cited by @Coemgenu are from Visudhimagga Chapter XVI §69

:diamonds: 559 . “yo kho, āvuso, rāgakkhayo”tiādivacanato (saṃ. ni. 4.315) “khayo nibbānan”ti ce. na, arahattassāpi khayamattāpajjanato. tampi hi “yo kho, āvuso, rāgakkhayo”tiādinā (sa. ni. 4.315) nayena niddiṭṭhaṃ. kiñca bhiyyo nibbānassa ittarakālādippattidosato. evañhi sati nibbānaṃ ittarakālaṃ, saṅkhatalakkhaṇaṃ, sammāvāyāmanirapekkhādhigamanīyabhāvañca āpajjati. saṅkhatalakkhaṇattāyeva ca saṅkhatapariyāpannaṃ, saṅkhatapariyāpannattā rāgādīhi aggīhi ādittaṃ, ādittattā dukkhañcātipi āpajjati.


I’m sure it has to do with refuting a quasi-Sautrāntika position where nibbāna for all intensive purposes is what the atheist supposes happens to him at death. “Nibbāna as khaya” instead of “nibbāna as nirodha.”

Thanks! I knew my citation wasn’t exactly right. Interesting to see the same issue approached from different angles.

Right, and this is one of those issues that Buddhists have been dealing with ever since then.

I think it’s important to bear in mind the dialectical nature of the Buddha’s positions. The brahmins and Jains said there is a soul (which explains personal identity) so the Buddha said there is no soul (leaving the Puggalavadins to posit a “person” to explain personal identity). They said things are permanent (which explains continuity and moral responsibility) so the Buddha talked of impermanence (leaving the Sarvastivadins to posit the existence of phenomena in all time as an explanation of continuity). And so on.

In this case, the Buddha was concerned to counter the “essentialist” framing of the ultimate spiritual goal posited by the brahmins and others, leaving his ontologically negative descriptions of Nibbana leaning close to the position of the annihilationists (which is acknowledged in the EBTs). So generations of Buddhists have tried to dance one way or the other in framing Nibbana as either “a real existing absolute” or “that’s it, you’re finished!”


It seems you weren’t helped by the titling of my thread, bhante.