The other way to final Nibbāna according to the suttas

The idea that final Nibbāna is nothing apart from the cessation of the khandhas
might seem bleak. If it seems bleak, it is only due to the false sense of having
a permanent self, or more precisely, because of the view of personal identity,
The sense that one has a permanent core — a distortion of perception that is unavoidable for all puthujjanas — makes cessation appear like annihilation and the successful practice of the path like a form of suicide. If cessation
seems undesirable, it is only due to this distorted outlook.

This got me thinking, that if this is really the case then there is another path to Nibbāna taught in the suttas. But it is not really a explicit teaching - more implicit:

We have to use the suttas in a different light to come to this conclusion, but the goal is identical.

It goes a little something like this:
Immoral behaviour leads to rebirth in lower realms like hell, as an animal or ghost.
The amount time one has to spend in these lower states are immense.
There is no possibility to practice the Buddha’s dhamma (or any other spiritual teaching for that matter) in these states.
To be a human is a rare thing said the Buddha.
(We humans only make up 0.01% of life on Earth.)
When a universe contracts MOST are heading to the luminous form realms according to the suttas.
Not ALL, but most…
Most of who?
Most of those that have practiced morality, generousity and meditation.

But these other life forms have no way of doing this when a universe (kama loka) finally contracts. So those who went against all the principles of virtue and wisdom also get to enjoy final Nibbāna when their khandhas cease in the destruction of a universe, since they have nothing to cling to in either kama loka or rupa loka.

Unless someone wants to argue that the material residue of these annihilated beings during the destruction of kama loka will eventually somehow reappear as these very beings again when a new kama loka is formed?
As in the craving of these beings staying latent and when the conditions are right they can come back?

The problem with this is of course that in the the suttas, it is always from the top to the bottom.
Never from the bottom to the top.

Apparently the path of virtue and wisdom is still better with less overall pain/sorrow before reaching the goal. Then again the immoral with no wisdom get to enjoy the same type of cessation faster and more frequently than someone on the path - so it looks like there is a split between which path is actually the best.

To each their own. :+1:

I don’t agree with this.

One who conceives of cessation in this way not only misapprehends that which ceases, he also misapprehends the cessation.

I don’t know who wrote the text but it appears to assert that the puthujjana conceives correctly of the cessation but is dissatisfied with such prospect because he relishes that which ceases.

This akin to two people debating whether they should extinguish a fire or not.

One person would say ‘Let’s extinguish the fire, i don’t care for it’
To him another says ‘I relish the fire friend, let’s not extinguish it’

The two are talking about the same extinguishment and both understand it correctly.

Whereas when it comes to the cessation of the constructed, the puthujjhana has absolutely no idea about what it is and he can not comprehend it as it actually is.

It is not merely that he relishes that which ceases or grasps it with wrong view. He has no clue about what it is that he is talking about.

It is like if one person was to say ‘let’s extinguish the fire’, and the other would misunderstand it, conceiving of extinguishment as a setting the house on fire or buying a car, something completely unrelated.


Ajahn Brahmali wrote the text.


One of the most great qualities is…being able to know when one must just admit…i do not really know.…just be honest to ourselves and others. Not faking knowledge where there is no real knowledge.

All i see are attemps to seek textual proof for this or that opinion. It is, ofcourse, madness. Yes, also the attempt to seek proof that parinibbana is not a mere cessation. It is all defiled activity and pure madness. It has nothing to do with a sincere Dhamma practice. Sincere Dhamma practicse is not about seeking textual support for ones opinions, but letting go of opinions.

Selling knowledge where there is no knowledge is just bad, right? It is just pretention.
I think that no one here, also no Ajahns, has any real knowledge about the nature of parinibbana. I believe it is all fake news. Oke, opinions enough, but real knowledge…has no one.

The way opinions are sold as Truth is not oke.


I do understand that it might be madness on my part for trying to prove that this type ”cessation view” is wrong.

I just feel the quoted text is a bit offensive because it very bluntly tells us what the highest attainment is, namely like unconscious deep sleep.

Which is hardly beyond logic, too profound and difficult to be understood through common knowledge since we and billions of other humans already know what that is like…

Something extremely unique that is impossible to explain and that is supermundane has turned into some mundane very common thing that is very uninspiring.
And why some even think it is uninspiring, according to the quote, is due to self-view…

  • Not a single word in pali implying rebirth in some suttas are found, but despite this rebirth is still added here and there in the translations.

  • While important pali words that are actually there are not added in the translations.

  • Essays where questions in the suttas are chopped up in to two different sections with two different answers - because otherwise this would prove the ”cessation view” to be wrong - etc.

This to me, is the ultimate madness! :wink:

So I’m not buying the knowledge that is being sold.

But I totally agree with you and will from now on let it go. :pray:

Loving kindness, compassion, appreciative joy & equanimity, even as long as a finger snap has more worth than trying to show on a forum why a view is inconsistent/illogical in the grand scheme of the Buddha’s teaching.


For me this is also important. I see it also very differently.

I feel, we must not underestimate minds obsession with formations. With what moves. Not only externally but also internally that what moves immediately attracts attention. There is a huge obsession with what can be seen arising, ceasing and changing in the meantime.

Due to this obsession, i feel, that aspect in our lifes what is not seen arising, ceasing and changing, is overlooked. And because it is overlooked, one believes that our life is only about formations arising and ceasing. Only about noticable movements or arising formations. And also the Dhamma becomes something that is only about movements, formations. That goes together.

A feeling for non-movement, for what is not seen arising and ceasing and changing tends to weaken when the mind is obsessed with coming and going. With arising intentions, bodily feelings, odours, visuals, smells, plans, reasonings, ideas, thoughts, ego, emotions, drift, tendencies etc.
Not seeing non-movement; emptiness, desireless, the unfabricated, that what comes and goes, becomes our life. That feels like me, mine, my self, reality. Buddha does all he can to remedy this.

This obsession with formations, with movement, hinders us to see the element of non-arising, the element of non change, no cessation, non-movement in our lifes.
Also, because non-movement is much more familiar to us than movement, it tends to stay unseen, ignored and avijja grows on what is ignored, not seen.

I believe, it has nothing to do with sakkaya ditthi, a doctrine of atta, a permanent core, an eternal soul, eternalism.

The issue is, there are people who have feeling for what is not seen arising and ceasing. Meaning, they have a feeling for what at this very moment is already free, undefiled, pure, unburdened,unaffected, not of this world, beyond good and bad.

Is it really factual, true, real that those who do not believe that teachings lead to a mere cessation are ignorant, under controll of wrong views, defilements and those who believe in mere cessation see things really as it is, truth, factual? I would ask moderators to consider this very carefully.
I also want to give in consideration that just like those who believe in a mere cessation, care about the Triple Gem, i also do, and i feel other do too who do not believe the Dhamma leads to a mere cessation.


why do you think this?

as far as i understand, that’s definitely not what the buddha says.

I do think he has a point here.

Far is like near, for concepts of space do not apply. All that appears is a very refined awareness suffusing everything throughout the entire universe. The whole world seems to be filled by this subtle quality of knowing, as though nothing else exists, though things still exist in the world as they always have. …It cannot be expressed in the same way that conventional things in general can be, simply because it is not a conventional phenomenon. It is the sole province of those who have transcended all aspects of conventional reality, and thus realize within themselves that non-conventional nature. - Ajahn Maha Bua

To know the disbanding of consciousness pure and simple is to know the disbanding of everything. It’s like opening up the entire world, or stripping off the entire world and throwing it away.
When you can strip it away, throw it off, and let it go, there’s nothing but emptiness, an emptiness that’s bright and clear, with no sense of the world at all. The words “world” and “five aggregates” are simply conventions to help us see how there’s change.

And as to whether this is something worth aspiring to, I leave it up to you to decide. - Upasika Kee Nanayon

Ajahn Amaro:
The Buddha talks about the mind of the arahant as “consciousness which is unmanifest, signless, infinite, and radiant in all directions.”


”Nine lost opportunities for spiritual practice:
Firstly, a Realized One has arisen in the world. He teaches the Dhamma leading to peace, extinguishment, awakening, as proclaimed by the Holy One. But a person has been reborn in hell. This is the first lost opportunity for spiritual practice. Furthermore, a Realized One has arisen in the world. But a person has been reborn in the animal realm. This is the second lost opportunity for spiritual practice. Furthermore, a Realized One has arisen in the world. But a person has been reborn in the ghost realm. This is the third lost opportunity for spiritual practice.”

The Chapter of Abbreviated Texts on Five Destinations:


“Herein, bhikkhus, a certain recluse or brahmin, by means of ardour, endeavour, application, diligence, and right reflection, attains to such a degree of mental concentration that with his mind thus concentrated he recollects his numerous past lives: that is, (he recollects his past lives throughout) one aeon of world-contraction and expansion, throughout two, three, four, five, or ten aeons of world-contraction and expansion.

“There comes a time, bhikkhus, when after the lapse of a long period this world contracts (disintegrates). While the world is contracting, beings for the most part are reborn in the Ābhassara Brahma-world. There they dwell, mind-made, feeding on rapture, self-luminous, moving through the air, abiding in glory. And they continue thus for a long, long period of time.

“But sooner or later, bhikkhus, after the lapse of a long period, there comes a time when this world begins to expand once again. While the world is expanding, an empty palace of Brahmā appears. Then a certain being, due to the exhaustion of his life-span or the exhaustion of his merit, passes away from the Ābhassara plane and re-arises in the empty palace of Brahmā. There he dwells, mind made, feeding on rapture, self-luminous, moving through the air, abiding in glory. And he continues thus for a long, long period of time.

I’m just poiting out that the suttas quoted clearly show how plenty of the beings in the lower realms do become 100% annihilated while Kama Loka disintegrates.

So if Nibbāna = annihilation, then there is also another path of evil found in the suttas with the same result as this ”annihilation theory” about Nibbāna.

Which means countless of billions (trillions?) of beings in the lower realms enter this type of ”annihilation-Nibbāna” every time a Kama Loka disintegrates:
”one aeon of world-contraction and expansion, throughout two, three, four, five, or ten aeons of world-contraction and expansion.”

my recollection is that when the lower form realms are destroyed, some beings with sufficient kamma are born in the lowest remaining heaven, as you say.

the remaining beings die, but are not annihilated.

rather, they are shunted off to another world system - another galaxy essentially, where they are reborn according to their kamma.

this is even more traumatic, as the beings who had been their friends and associates for aeons in their previous familiar world system are no longer around them. it’s not a positive experience.

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Any suttas where one can read about how lower beings, during the destruction, are transfered to another world system?

@Dhabba i’ll try to find this :slight_smile:

edit: link to book containing this information

@Dhabba i can’t find the suttas but the above linked book contains the information - you might be able to see / find the sutta references from it.

best wishes to you!

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Since this book you linked to looks like pure speculation without suttas backing up the claims and the fact that it is written by Dhammakaya (a sect I’ve only heard bad things about) I take the info in it with a grain of salt.

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I don’t see how. They are born in the formless realms because there’s no form, and they would not have much to attach to, but they could still have lots of delusion without material, which will take them back to the tasty material world when it’s created again.

I do think I agree with this sentiment that there’s nothing about good kamma that purely necessarily correlates with nibbana, and nothing says beings with bad kamma can’t realize nibbana, as nibbana is going beyond kamma (although for humans and in most cases as you claim, better kamma makes it easier), but I just don’t think those low beings are going completely beyond kamma just because their world is destroyed.

I didn’t see it saying that. Can you please help me by pointing out a line maybe?

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So while the ”drama” of a Brahma god after the destruction of kama loka:

*who reaches a lower ”empty brahma palace” and then feels lonely,

*and others from a higher luminous form realm show up,

*and this brahma god imagines his thought created them and vice versa: - is playing out,

the lower beings annihilated in the destruction of kama-loka are all in the formless? :thinking:

Sorry but that would be impossible, the formless realms can only be reached by the most ethical and advanced meditators with wisdom. Formless = pure bliss.

So billions of insects are in the formless realms from time to time? :wink:

Are they conscious or in a latent state?

Either way it is impossible.

If there can be several kama lokas destroyed while the luminous form realms stay intact, surely the formless realms will then stay intact while even the luminous form realms disintegrate(!)

My definition of Kamma is intentional actions/words/thoughts.

I don’t know what yours is?

If someone still has bad intentions they can’t even make it past the first jhana.

To have commited evil deeds in the past is not the same as still wanting to commit evil deeds. Those who have done bad in the past can of course reach whatever they want if their evil intentions are gone.

Well maybe you don’t see it but I’m just pointing out that if kama loka gets destroyed surely billions of insects are annihilated and not taken to either rupa loka or arupa loka?

How exactly would the insects end up there? Based on their own effort? The luminous form brahma gods would themselves prefer the HIGHER formless realms over the luminous realms and would not put lower beings above them(!) :wink: Nor in the first jhana for that matter.

The luminous form and formless realms are ONLY dukkha due to impermanence, so the immense bliss in these realms will come to an end and only one single being in the entire universe is pointing this out:
THE BUDDHA! :thaibuddha: :dharmawheel:

From the The Aṭṭha Vimokkhe (Eight Liberations) According to Sarvāstivāda:

The seventh liberation is transcending all aspects of neither perception nor non-perception and abiding in a state beyond thought and non-thought.

The eighth liberation is transcending all aspects of thought and non-thought, illuminating all worlds equally, and remaining motionless.

Aha! This ”illuminating all worlds” is proof enough that it is thanks to this, and only thanks this, that the Buddha can ”know and see” that the formless realms are indeed impermanent.

But on the other hand from a ”unconscious annihilated state” there is no possible way to get any insight into the three characteristics Anicca, Dukkha & Anatta and apply them to all worlds. Three things only a Buddha can see and know and then teach.

Since some claim Nibbāna is annihilation and unconscioussness I claim, with the help of the suttas, that also billions of insects reach this type of ”Nibbāna”! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Or is there a sutta like this?

Bhikkhus! There comes a time when both rupa loka and arupa loka are filled with billions of insects after the destruction of kama loka. It is not only my unique insight regarding impermanence that make these realms dukkha, but also all the bloody insects there!
:fly: :mosquito: :honeybee: :lady_beetle: :bug: :snail: :scorpion: :cricket: :butterfly:



Nowhere Buddha said ‘lower beings are annihilated’.

“Herein, bhikkhus, a certain recluse or brahmin, by means of ardour, endeavour, application, diligence, and right reflection, attains to such a degree of mental concentration that with his mind thus concentrated he recollects his numerous past lives: that is, (he recollects his past lives throughout) one aeon of world-contraction and expansion, throughout two, three, four, five, or ten aeons of world-contraction and expansion.

This passage doesn’t imply that he only has lived through one aeon(two,three,four … , ten etc). This implies he only sees/recollects that much. His inability to see much farther is the reason for his wrong view. Buddha did not assert that beings are born and annihilated .
According to Buddha you can not say when ignorance started.

Similarly the view that beings are destroyed when a universe(world) is destroyed is a wrong view.

“It’s when someone has such a view:
‘The cosmos and the self are one and the same. After death I will be permanent, everlasting, eternal, imperishable, and will last forever and ever.’
They hear the Realized One or their disciple teaching Dhamma for the uprooting of all grounds, fixations, obsessions, insistences, and underlying tendencies regarding views; for the stilling of all activities, the letting go of all attachments, the ending of craving, fading away, cessation, extinguishment.
They think‘Whoa, I’m going to be annihilated and destroyed! I won’t even exist any more!’ They can only see the extremes: if not eternalism it must be annihilationism.
They sorrow and wail and lament, beating their breast and falling into confusion. That’s how there is anxiety about what doesn’t exist internally.”

I have heard about a sutta(which I can’t seem to find now), where Buddha talks about how each ant in the row of ants had been a cakkavati king in their past lives. Similarly all animals and all beings(including us) has been at one point or another had been a Brahma and Arupa Brahmas. So it’s no wonder if during the world contraction, animals also be reborn in formless realms.

Basically the same.

Although defining good/bad kamma can be harder since I think it’s either relative definitions or based around what does/doesn’t bring suffering.

We may know this from just observation, but it doesn’t mean that there aren’t other ways to enter fine or immaterial realms such as when your realm is destroyed. That could be an implied exception, as your original post is pointing out. That rule of kamma and jhana may only be given for certain circumstances i.e. being an earthly being, and “meditator with wisdom” doesn’t apply to the beings which are already gods (as there’s not necessarily a first-cause to non-wisdom).

But how do you define “bad intentions”? If we define good intention as anything that brings you closer to the first and later jhanas, then the ending of your realm could simply be included as good kamma. Even if it sounds counter-intuitive, that’s just the definition we set up.

I’ve also sometimes believed, but kept it to myself since I haven’t heard it elsewhere, that there could be negative jhānas which are like fine material spiritual hells which beings could be reborn into from certain decisions but not necessarily the common definitions of bad or good decisions. So, if the pleasantness of higher realms seems undeserved, then they could just be born in hells if you wish for that explanation, but I’d actually still guess that’s not true for these reasons:

NDEs are described like less-form existences, with its joy too.

People can lose their vision and then completely regain it later with corrections. They had no sight sensations during that time, but then it came back. Some animals are blind, but could probably be reborn as having sight. These had the potential to see, but the connection to the stimuli was cut off. This could go for any other sense channel (like losing smell during sickness), or even extending to all the senses of an entire being. If all the sense channels were suspended from lack of material, such a sentient being isn’t enlightened. What remains would easily be reborn in rupa loka. They still have delusion with nothing to hold on to. Maybe that is like dependent origination except with the middle cut out rather than the root. If you prefer to define kamma as including not having your realm to hold on to, then they when this good kamma runs out - when the material world is created again and gives them living conditions and food, they will be born back there accordingly from delusion.

You could say the same about enlightenment. How could they just get that? And that’s even well above the realms they could be born into, meaning that if you go by ‘difficulty’, your main claim was that they do something even more difficult than reach the first jhana. But I feel like that’s on the edge of the “are jhanas necessary for enlightenment” debate, so let’s not dive into that point :sweat_smile:

There could just be sub-realms, like how there already is within jhanas. If they already have that choice, then how could they choose for them to be enlightened.

Also insects aren’t as dumb as they seem. They’ve been observed to do very complicated tasks. Bees and ants are on the higher end, but ants will communicate with pheromones and perform formations like a raft over water, mid-air bridges/ladders, or food routes. Their environment only needs them to be so smart, so it will be limited naturally, but they suffer.

You mentioned insects as an example, but wouldn’t this apply to all animals except advanced human meditators? So, every earthly animal and human becomes enlightened upon destruction of the earth (and other hospitable planets)?

It’s impossible for me to be grateful proportionate enough to what he gave.

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Hello dhamma friend, this is puthujana talking here, so whatever I will say now can be possibly wrong as it will obviously be a kind of ‘fabrication’ as I am not ‘sotapanna’. Yes as sir @Green said, one needs to accept that ‘one doesn’t know’. So yes I perfectly believe n accept that ‘I don’t know’ in fact I hate to be like this, and below is just my speculation.

To me it seems that you dont completely agree with the quoted text by ajahn brahmali.

Having read your sarcastic criticism (plz correct me if I am wrong), can you plz tell me what is your view/understanding which in this case is different to what ajahn brahmali said?

I believe cessation is not deep sleep, even though words imply that. Also I don’t believe ‘cessation’ exactly conveys the meaning, and although most possibly correct translation, is not the perfect one.

For me I know I have sense of self and if I go by the words of ajahn brahmali, which say that, cessation appears as annihilation/bleak to us because of our false sense of permanent self/view of personal identity, which is a distortion of perception, unavoidable to all puthujana…if I go by this words, I don’t think he is wrong here, he may not be enough correct for us but he doesn’t seem wrong to me.

Now, I believe you don’t agree with him because, the idea cessation of khandas appears as bleak to puthujana because of having false sense of (permanent)self or personal identity (sakkāya-ditthi) appears wrong to you…I hope I am right here interpreting your understanding. Plz correct me if I am wrong about this as I don’t want to assume wrongly that you believe/think such n such.

My understanding is that, we have a sense of ‘I’ which is actually not real hence it is born again dies, comes and goes(it is impermanent). So because it is not permanent, it is not ‘me’ or ‘I’. (On the surface though, as it remains to be realised for me)

If I identify myself with this ‘I’ which is impermanent, ‘real I’(one who wants to liberate oneself) will also die with it and again reborn with it. I hope you are getting me. So if ‘real I’ stopped identifying with ‘I’, ‘me’ then when death comes ‘real I’ won’t die with my sense of ‘self’ or ‘I’. Now don’t judge me so fast plz listen ahead. I am using this ‘real I’ as means to convey what I want to say. Offcourse both ‘real I’ which I am talking about above and general ‘I’ both are unreal and fabricated. One needs to stop identifying with impermanent to know/realise permanence. One needs to believe that he himself is wrong in order to arrive at what is right. One needs to accept that one is puthujana to reach ‘Arya’ stage. One needs to realise cessation in order to really know what is cessation and it cannot definitely be deep unconscious sleep, cuz if it were that, it can’t be different than death. I believe talking in negative terms is what ajahn is doing in above text you quoted at the start.

When lord buddha says it’s not appropriate to say that this impermanent ‘I’ is me, he is asking us to use this process of ‘not identification’ so that we get pulled away from this ‘I’ which is impermanent.
Now this ‘not identification’ is a bit tricky.

When ajahn said cessation appears as bleak/annihilation to puthujana, he is also talking about this ‘not identification’ thing. So that one may not forget the fact that one is puthujana.

I believe your interpretation fromj ajahn brahmali’s words is that,

If cessation seems bleak/annihilastic to us because of our wrong perception of ‘I’ being permanent then, ajahn is implying that cessation means ‘deep unconscious sleep’.

Am I right above? Plz correct me if I am wrong.

Assuming that, above is your thinking, I would say that, his words may imply that and it may sound harsh but he is just trying to not be wrong while saying that, he may not be enough correct but he doesn’t seem wrong.

I believe that the view, cessation is not/cannot be annihilation can possibly be obstacle in knowing cessation(generally speaking). Thats why ajahn said that, cessation seems bleak to puthujana because of their false sense of permanent self.

In order to change the fact that I am puthujana and convert it into the fact that I am ‘arya’(not puthujana), it is necessary to believe that, cessation of khandas seems bleak only because of my identification with false sense of ‘I’.

Offcourse if what I assumed about your thinking is wrong then…my above statements won’t hold and won’t be applicable. What do you think @Dhabba am I right? Or wrong?

PS - I don’t believe that Ajahn can never be wrong nor I believe that Ajahn can never be right. What I talked above is only within the context of the ajahn’s text quoted by you in the thread.

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Thanks for sharing. I know it is not really adressed to me but i like to say something.
Again, yes again :slight_smile:

When i read the sutta’s i see that the Buddha guides people to their true self which is a mere pure heartedness. Buddha teaches, i feel, that one cannot expact the end of rebirth nor suffering when this pure heartedness is not seen, and has not become ones Path. Pure heartedness is the only stream that will end suffering. The supra mundane Noble Path is nothing else but this pure heartedness and is not buddhist at all. Buddha did not invent it. He re-discovered it.

It is very difficult to choose for pureheartedness living a normal life of a householder.

Pure heartedness is also without ego. It is what we most naturally experience as ourselves when there is no identification or conceiving at all. i believe it is not true that a Buddha has no sense of self at all. That would be psychosis. He has no sense of self based upon grasping and conceiving, that is, i feel something completely different.

Also our minds are not all the time full of grasping and identification nor always with ego-conceit. It is not like that once we were born on Earth, from that moment on our minds are with ego, with passion, with grasping, with identification. That is, i believe, a wrong approach. Grasping, ego, passion, identifcation always arises here and now as results of causes and conditions and is not constantly present. No defilement is.

So, our lives also consists of many moments in which we taste the sphere or element of purity, the unconditioned, emptiness. This sphere of purity all the time pervades our lifes.
But this sphere or element of purity, this supra mundane Noble Path, is so common to us, so close, so familiar (as water for fish) that we just tend to ignore it. We have much more attention for what comes and goes.

I believe, this element or sphere of purity is already dispassionate, it is no khandha, it is never seen arising and ceasing and changing. One cannot say this is a formation. It is more like empty space.

Regarding framing these debates, I believe the Pali sutta’s do not really teach that there are only khandha’s or only temporary formations or states. Apparantly the mere cessation believers do. That is, i feel, the real honest frame. Not that those who are not looking forward to cease without anything remaing , do so because of defilements. That is a bad way of framing these debates. I feel :slight_smile:

But most worrying is that mere cessation believers never show or share any doubts about this idea.
That is, i feel, not sincere, upright. This way, i feel, they claim to have true knowledge. Is that true?

Hello sir @Green .

I will try to respond point to point as I am not that good at communicating in English.

I believe that truth is without self! I know it might sound contradictory at first glance. IMO Buddha(as in suttas) wants us to see truth which is independent of ‘self’ and to see it clearly, right here and right now, one needs to get rid of this ‘self’. When some people talk about cessation being the ultimate goal, I believe they are talking about only this, getting complete rid of ‘self’ to see the complete truth.

In other words, by ‘cessation’ they mean, “getting complete rid of ‘self’ to see the complete truth which is without self

You might argue here that, if to see truth completely one has to completely get rid of ‘self’, then how can one know that it is truth? Well my answer would be that, when one will attain complete cessation then only one will attain complete truth. (Offcourse my personal opinion is that, only ‘Tathagata’ or ‘samma sambuddha’ is someone who has omniscience and hence he, infact only he can see the complete truth without attaining complete cessation.)

I feel it is not possible that, truth is there and ‘I’ or ‘you’ or any ‘self’ is there observing and experiencing that this is truth! It is not possible. Because if this is possible then one is still different/apart/away from the truth.

Also regarding term ‘pure heartedness’ you talked about. I believe that may be part of truth but I feel it is still a part of truth and not the complete truth. I see ‘pure heartedness’ as reflection of moon in the water. (Here moon=truth) Though the reflection is very near to truth still it is not complete truth.

I believe that buddha teaches to get rid of defilements so that only ‘pure heartedness’ might remain. I also believe that dhamma is about abandoning evil/defilements more than cultivating good qualities. Because if one is doing both the things simultaneously then one is still puthujana who is striving to be more correct version of oneself(I believe this is what Bodhisattva does to be more precise). Contrary to that or including and bypassing that, buddha(atleast in suttas) teaches us to abandon this ‘self’ itself in order to end defilements and stop doing evil right here and right now instead of going on a long journey of suffering in samsara.

If one gets rid of all the defilements, then pure heartedness(as you said) is what will be the only thing remaining I believe. But if we directly say pure heartedness is the goal, I believe it includes subconscious tendency/will to not abandon this ‘I’. Actually I also am uncomfortable with the idea that cessation is complete end and there is nothing after that but I believe this is just my ‘clinging’ doing the complaint…so I am inclined to check out all that goes against my comfort. But if we talk about the quoted text of ajahn I believe he is saying that just to not misguide anyone into eternalism.

See this is the problem which one faces if ‘pure heartedness’ is considered to be the only goal! One will try to copy only the good things instead of getting rid of wrong things first. I hope my response is not confusing.

Exactly sir. Saying that buddha has no sense of self will be wrong and also saying that buddha has Sense of self will be equally wrong I believe. Saying that he has completely abandoned the sense of ‘self’ in order to truly be ‘extinguished’ will be more correct I believe.

Even though this seems correct to me, I believe it still points to buddha having some sense of ‘self’. So it is still just like directly setting the goal ‘pure heartedness’ without abandoning ‘self’.
Hence it can also be wrong IMO.

Nagarjuna also says ultimate truth cannot be expressed in words, if we want to express it in words, it is like saying that, “Ultimate truth is that there is no ultimate truth”. In other words, once we try to put it in words, we are already contradicting it. So if we say buddha has no sense of self based upon grasping and conceiving, even if we are partly correct, I don’t think we are completely correct because it is like implying buddha has some other sense of self which is not based on grasping and clinging.

I personally agree with you here but I believe when we express it in words, I don’t know why, it seems something is going wrong and contrary to what buddha taught in suttas.

But I feel even in those moments, there are subtle grasping and identifications present which we are not actually aware of.

I believe even as a newborn child we are completely filled with ignorance because we don’t know a thing!. What you said above I think will only apply to Siddharth Gautama when he was just born, everybody else I believe is filled with only ignorance at birth.

Can you plz give any examples when you think these defilements are not present?

I agree with you here sir but I think there is a solid reason to pay attention to what comes and goes! If we ignore what comes and goes then how can we stop the suffering? By merely being good? By being good and caring to others and oneself, That may postpone something bad(such as illness for example) but eventually bad will come for us. To make sure we don’t experience suffering it is necessary to pay attention to what comes and goes.

Here if we continue with your analogy of fish, don’t you think we can say that, the only obstacle for fish to realise this water is, actually the ‘fish’ itself!? In other words cessation is not what it implies, it is merely getting rid of the obstacle to this noble path you said above. When we talk about cessation of khandas, I believe we are implying this same thing, cessation of khandas is important and the final task to remove complete obstacle to the supra mundane noble path. In other words, this ‘self’ is the main obstacle for itself in realising ultimate happiness for itself!

Yes I also agree with saying that it is already dispassionate but to realise it experientially and not just on surface, one has to deal with khandas first! Don’t you think?

I would like to cite something here which I have read in text about vajrayana tradition…

It goes like this…
According to Trungpa Rinpoche,[85] the five skandhas are “a set of Buddhist concepts which describe experience as a five-step process” and that “the whole development of the five skandhas… is an attempt on our part to shield ourselves from the truth of our insubstantiality,” while “the practice of meditation is to see the transparency of this shield.”[86]

So khandas are something through which we experience the world. And to realise that element or sphere of purity which is already dispassionate and without khandas(which you mentioned above) on experiential level and not just as conceptual understanding, don’t you think one has to actually get rid of khandas first and way to do that is complete cessation…? What do you think?

Sry but I didn’t quite understand what you said here, thanks to my english being not enough good. Can you plz elaborate a little if possible? I didn’t understand the part “do so because of defilements”.

My answer to this question would be that…No sir I don’t think you are judging them right. I believe they don’t actually claim to have true knowledge but contrary to that I believe this way they claim that they(apparently all of us) lack true knowledge and cessation is the way to reach and completely be one with true knowledge!

Being puthujana myself, I can be completely wrong but that’s what I think atleast for now.