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Re: unconditioned nama

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  • Bhikkhu Pesala
    I am no Abhidhamma scholar, but let me give my explanation anyway. Nibbäna cannot be seen, heard, smelt, tasted, or touched, but it can be known by the mind.
    Message 1 of 5 , May 5, 2003
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      I am no Abhidhamma scholar, but let me give my explanation
      anyway. Nibbäna cannot be seen, heard, smelt, tasted, or touched,
      but it can be known by the mind. The mind that knows nibbäna is
      lokuttara citta, which is nama. Nibbäna is the mental-object for this
      lokuttara-citta, so it is näma, but it is unconditioned.

      From the Debate of King Milinda

      “Nibbäna, O king, is unconstructed, therefore no cause has
      been pointed out for its production. It cannot be said of nibbäna
      that it has arisen or can arise; that it is past, present or future; or
      cognizable by the eye, ear, nose, tongue or body.”
      “Then, Nägasena, nibbäna is a condition that does not exist!”

      “Nibbäna does exist, O king, and can be cognized by the mind.
      A noble disciple whose mind is pure, lofty, sincere, unobstructed
      and free from craving can attain nibbäna.”

      “Then explain by means of similes what nibbäna is.”
      “Is there such a thing as the wind?”
      “Yes there is.”

      “Then explain by means of similes what the wind is.”
      “It is not possible to explain what the wind is by means of
      similes but it exists all the same.”

      “Just so, O king, nibbäna exists but it is impossible to describe.”

      This is the answer to your second question. Though nibbäna is
      unconditioned näma it can be realised by conditioned näma.
      Thought there is not cause for its production, there is a method
      pointed out for its realisation. So the conditioned mind can know
      the unconditioned mind, though it cannot produce it.

      I hope that helps. If not, we will have to wait for the Abhidhamma
      scholars to reply, or until we realise nibbäna.

      With metta
      Bhikkhu Pesala
    • k k
      Dear Ven.Bhikkhu Pesala Thank you so much for your kindness . Your answer is very helpful . I know I can not really understand what Nibbana is and the real
      Message 2 of 5 , May 5, 2003
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        Dear Ven.Bhikkhu Pesala

        Thank you so much for your kindness .

        Your answer is very helpful .

        I know I can not really understand what Nibbana is and
        the real relations between Nibbana and cittas untill I
        attain Nibbana through authentic practices,but please
        allow me to continue my questions. I have no intention
        to cause any dispute here. I just do want to settle my
        confusions and to learn right understandings as a
        Theravada Buddhist.

        Let me sort out your points as follows.

        1,
        Nibbana is "unconditioned nama"

        2,
        Nibbana has never arisen and can never arise . It has
        never be created or can never be created . It is not
        in time, not in the past, present and future.

        Therefore Nibbana never exist in
        sankhara(conditioned) sphere .But It can be said to
        exist in "asankhara(unconditioned) " sphere .

        3,
        Nibbana is "object " of lokuttara-citta. Nibbana can
        be attained by(or through) lokuttara-citta which is
        conditioned nama, not by(or through) five senses or
        lokiya cittas.

        I deduces from your email that the 3 points above are
        widly approved by Theravada tradition.

        Then ,

        (1)
        Can it be said that Nibbana exsit in
        "asankhara(unconditioned) "sphere of mind of all
        sentient-beings?


        (2)
        I read that there is neither subject nor object in
        Nibbana . Nibbana is "object " of lokuttara-citta, so
        can it be said that Nibbana is lokuttara-citta in a
        way?

        (3)
        How is Nibbana defined as "unconditioned nama" in
        Abhidhammas? How is the relations between Nibbana and
        lokuttara-citta described in Abhidhammas?
        Could you give me some quotations from Abhidammas?

        I greatly appreciate if I could receive answers from
        an Abhidhamma expert .

        Thank you in advance with metta !

        from kk



        --- Bhikkhu Pesala <pesala@...> wrote:
        > I am no Abhidhamma scholar, but let me give my
        > explanation
        > anyway. Nibb��na cannot be seen, heard, smelt,
        > tasted, or touched,
        > but it can be known by the mind. The mind that knows
        > nibb��na is
        > lokuttara citta, which is nama. Nibb��na is the
        > mental-object for this
        > lokuttara-citta, so it is n��ma, but it is
        > unconditioned.
        >
        > From the Debate of King Milinda
        >
        > ���Nibb��na, O king, is unconstructed, therefore no
        > cause has
        > been pointed out for its production. It cannot be
        > said of nibb��na
        > that it has arisen or can arise; that it is past,
        > present or future; or
        > cognizable by the eye, ear, nose, tongue or body.��
        > ���Then, N��gasena, nibb��na is a condition that
        > does not exist!��
        >
        > ���Nibb��na does exist, O king, and can be cognized
        > by the mind.
        > A noble disciple whose mind is pure, lofty, sincere,
        > unobstructed
        > and free from craving can attain nibb��na.��
        >
        > ���Then explain by means of similes what nibb��na
        > is.��
        > ���Is there such a thing as the wind?��
        > ���Yes there is.��
        >
        > ���Then explain by means of similes what the wind
        > is.��
        > ���It is not possible to explain what the wind is by
        > means of
        > similes but it exists all the same.��
        >
        > ���Just so, O king, nibb��na exists but it is
        > impossible to describe.��
        >
        > This is the answer to your second question. Though
        > nibb��na is
        > unconditioned n��ma it can be realised by
        > conditioned n��ma.
        > Thought there is not cause for its production, there
        > is a method
        > pointed out for its realisation. So the conditioned
        > mind can know
        > the unconditioned mind, though it cannot produce it.
        >
        >
        > I hope that helps. If not, we will have to wait for
        > the Abhidhamma
        > scholars to reply, or until we realise nibb��na.
        >
        > With metta
        > Bhikkhu Pesala
        >
        >
        >


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      • Bhikkhu Pesala
        KK Wrote: 1. Nibbana is unconditioned nama 2. Nibbana has never arisen and can never arise . It has never be created or can never be created . It is not in
        Message 3 of 5 , May 5, 2003
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          KK Wrote:

          1. Nibbana is "unconditioned nama"
          2. Nibbana has never arisen and can never arise . It has never
          be created or can never be created . It is not in time, not in the
          past, present and future.

          Therefore Nibbana never exists in sankhara (conditioned)
          sphere. But It can be said to exist in "asankhara (unconditioned)"
          sphere.

          3. Nibbana is "object " of lokuttara-citta. Nibbana can be attained
          by(or through) lokuttara-citta which is conditioned nama, not by
          (or through) five senses or lokiya cittas.

          I deduce from your email that the 3 points above are widely
          approved by Theravada tradition.

          These points seem correct to me.

          1) Can it be said that Nibbana exsits in asankhara
          (unconditioned) sphere of mind of all sentient-beings?

          No. I think not. Nibbana could only be said to be present in the
          minds of Noble Ones. It is not within the range of thought of an
          ordinary person, except perhaps by the method of inference.

          2) I read that there is neither subject nor object in Nibbana.
          Nibbana is "object " of lokuttara-citta, so can it be said that
          Nibbana is lokuttara-citta in a way?

          I think absence of subject and object refers to non-duality.
          Lokuttara-citta needs the object of nibbana, like renunciation
          needs some object to let go of. If you don't have anything at all,
          how could your let go of it?

          3) How is Nibbana defined as "unconditioned nama" in
          Abhidhammas? How is the relations between Nibbana and
          lokuttara-citta described in Abhidhammas?
          Could you give me some quotations from Abhidhammas?

          I greatly appreciate if I could receive answers from an
          Abhidhamma expert .

          I doubt if anyone would care to admit to being an Abhidhamma
          expert. Let us wait and see what others can add, or clarify further.
        • k k
          Dear Venerable ! Thank you again for your great kindness ! And very sorry for my being rudeness and using your precious time, but please let me continue ! ...
          Message 4 of 5 , May 6, 2003
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            Dear Venerable !

            Thank you again for your great kindness !


            And very sorry for my being rudeness and using your
            precious time, but please let me continue !

            > 1) Can it be said that Nibbana exsits in asankhara
            > (unconditioned) sphere of mind of all
            > sentient-beings?
            >
            > No. I think not. Nibbana could only be said to be
            > present in the
            > minds of Noble Ones. It is not within the range of
            > thought of an
            > ordinary person, except perhaps by the method of
            > inference.


            I can infer from the satatements in Pabhassara Sutta
            (Anguttara Nikaya I.49-52 at
            <http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/anguttara/an01-049.html>)
            that "the mind of every sentient-being is luminous
            ,but ordinary beings can not discern the luminousity
            as it really is present because their minds are
            defiled by incoming defilements ,while Noble
            ones,without incoming defilements, can disern that as
            it really is "

            I read in its note that this sutta has caused a
            great deal of controversy on what is "the mind" etc
            over the centuries.

            Then,

            1,
            Why can't it be said that the " mind which is
            luminous " is lokuttara-cittas?

            2,
            If the " mind which is luminous " is not
            lokuttara-cittas, what is that?

            What is "the development of mind " in the Pabhassara
            Sutta ? Is it just patibhaga-nimitta of
            bhavanga-citta?

            Please give me the orthodox view in Theravada
            tradition on what is "the mind " .

            > 3) How is Nibbana defined as "unconditioned nama" in
            > Abhidhammas? How is the relations between Nibbana
            > and lokuttara-citta described in Abhidhammas?
            > Could you give me some quotations from Abhidhammas?
            >
            > I greatly appreciate if I could receive answers from
            > an Abhidhamma expert .
            >
            > I doubt if anyone would care to admit to being an
            > Abhidhamma expert. Let us wait and see what others
            can add, or
            > clarify further.

            O.K . I will wait !

            Thank you so much !

            from kk

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