Immortality and Theravada

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Immortality and Theravada

Postby sraddha » Sat Jul 04, 2009 1:10 am

So why is Buddha known as "amatassa Datta" or the giver of immortality if 5 upadana skandha are impermanent and suffering?

I was wondering what the Classical Theravada commentaries and tradition has to say about this and compare/contrast it to the Mahayana sutras.
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Re: Immortality and Theravada

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Jul 04, 2009 4:18 am

Greetings sraddha,

I assume it is because nibbana is unconditioned and permanent.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Re: Immortality and Theravada

Postby sraddha » Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:19 am

So that makes nirvana immortal -- so what happens to "not me"?

So what does attaining to nibbana mean really for all of us if there is "no me"?

What happens to an Arahant after his physical skandha dies? Why would an Arahant be called immortal? :smile:
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Re: Immortality and Theravada

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Jul 05, 2009 1:09 am

Greetings sraddha,

Subtle questions, requiring subtle answers!... Answers that would be very difficult to state without inferring some kind of annihilationism or eternalism.

I would recommend going to DWT and asking that question and getting a range of responses from different people.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Re: Immortality and Theravada

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Sun Jul 05, 2009 3:04 am

sraddha wrote:So that makes nirvana immortal -- so what happens to "not me"?

So what does attaining to nibbana mean really for all of us if there is "no me"?

What happens to an Arahant after his physical skandha dies? Why would an Arahant be called immortal? :smile:


Hi Sraddha,

From a TB point of view, I believe the answer would be found somewhere in dharmakaya.

Kindly,
Drolma
:anjali:
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Re: Immortality and Theravada

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Jul 05, 2009 3:22 am

I assume that T represents Tibetan and not Theravada!

:rolling:

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Retro. :)
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Re: Immortality and Theravada

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Sun Jul 05, 2009 1:50 pm

retrofuturist wrote:I assume that T represents Tibetan and not Theravada!

:rolling:

Metta,
Retro. :)


Teehee :lol:
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Re: Immortality and Theravada

Postby sraddha » Mon Jul 06, 2009 12:39 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings sraddha,



I would recommend going to DWT and asking that question and getting a range of responses from different people.

Metta,
Retro. :)


What's DWT?
:shrug:

Is that Dhammawheel Theravada? :smile: If that's they case, they should come here and answer the questions. :D
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Re: Immortality and Theravada

Postby sraddha » Mon Jul 06, 2009 12:41 am

Ngawang Drolma wrote:
sraddha wrote:So that makes nirvana immortal -- so what happens to "not me"?

So what does attaining to nibbana mean really for all of us if there is "no me"?

What happens to an Arahant after his physical skandha dies? Why would an Arahant be called immortal? :smile:


Hi Sraddha,

From a TB point of view, I believe the answer would be found somewhere in dharmakaya.

Kindly,
Drolma
:anjali:


:rolling: Definately, the Dharmakaya is it!
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Re: Immortality and Theravada

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:06 am

Greetings Sraddha,

sraddha wrote:What's DWT? :shrug:

Is that Dhammawheel Theravada? :smile:


Yes, it's my short-hand... DWT and DWM.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Re: Immortality and Theravada

Postby sraddha » Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:44 pm

The Theravada and Mahayana both accept the Nikayas, however, they have VERY divergent views on the meaning of these sutras.

THE MAHAYANA STATES THE ENTIRE NIKAYAS ARE ABOUT BODIES!!!!

For the Mahayana school (Hevajra Tantra) , the Aghama (Nikayas) means the following :

Nikaya literally means body! Ni-kaya

So
Samyutta Nikaya = connected body
Madhyamika Nikaya = middling body.
Dirgha Nikaya = Large body.
Anguttara Nikaya = incremental body.
Khuddaka Nikaya - lesser body!

-- within these sutras ---

1) mortal body -- known as the putikaya (putrid decay body) or in Mahayana, Nirmankaya.
2) body of marks (32) -- known as sambhogkaya is a transitory body, the body formed due to sacrifice (bodhisatva sacrifice) -- the SACRIFICIAL BODY. It is the revealed body, revealed through self sacrifice.
3) immortal body -- Dharma kaya - it is the cessation, vajra body.

A normal human being only knows about the mortal body, but is unaware of the Sambhogkaya or Dharmakaya -- which only a Buddhist comes to know of completely.

:anjali:
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Re: Immortality and Theravada

Postby sraddha » Wed Jul 08, 2009 12:16 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings sraddha,

Subtle questions, requiring subtle answers!... Answers that would be very difficult to state without inferring some kind of annihilationism or eternalism.

Metta,
Retro. :)


Hi Retro,

In Nikaya teachings, eternalism is the confusing of the 5 upadana skandha as everlasting.

Annihilationism is that there is nothing after the decay and degeneration of the 5 upadana skandhas.

That's why expressing them in terms of 3 contiguous bodies avoids both wrong views, since

1) you are never under the assumption that the 5 upadana skandhas (nirmanakaya) is ever eternal. :D
2) You are never under the assumption that after the decay of the 5 upadana skandhas there is nothing, since there is still the Dharmakaya which is without any signs and free of time.
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Re: Immortality and Theravada

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Jul 08, 2009 12:31 am

Greetings sraddha,

sraddha wrote:In Nikaya teachings, eternalism is the confusing of the 5 upadana skandha as everlasting.

Annihilationism is that there is nothing after the decay and degeneration of the 5 upadana skandhas.


Actually, it's a little different to that.

Eternalism is that there is an eternal "atta" (Self). Such a self can be conceived in any number of ways, through various combinations of the aggregates.

Annihilationism is that there is an "atta" that is destroyed at the moment of death.

They're both "soul theories", and that's what makes them Wrong Views.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Re: Immortality and Theravada

Postby sraddha » Wed Jul 08, 2009 1:00 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings sraddha,

sraddha wrote:In Nikaya teachings, eternalism is the confusing of the 5 upadana skandha as everlasting.

Annihilationism is that there is nothing after the decay and degeneration of the 5 upadana skandhas.


Actually, it's a little different to that.

Eternalism is that there is an eternal "atta" (Self). Such a self can be conceived in any number of ways, through various combinations of the aggregates.

Annihilationism is that there is an "atta" that is destroyed at the moment of death.

They're both "soul theories", and that's what makes them Wrong Views.

Metta,
Retro. :)


I agree, wrong view is the conception of atta as being one of the 5 aggregates.


At the same time Atma is something to be conquered and tamed, this taming of concepts of self is "anatma" and nirvana:


Yo sahassam sahassena sangame masuse jine
Ekam ca jeyyam attanam sa ve sangama-j'uttamo. 103


Greater in battle
than the man who would conquer
a thousand-thousand men,
is he who would conquer
just one —
himself.


however, Buddha does not deny "atta" in terms of development -- in fact, without "self or atma" development, one cannot attain Nibbana:

Dhammapada
Mase mase sahassena yo yajetha satam samam
Ekam ca bhavit'attanam muhuttam api pujaye
Sa yeva pujana seyyo yam ce vassasatam hutam. 106

You could, month by month,
at a cost of thousands,
conduct sacrifices
a hundred times,
or
pay a single moment's homage
to one person,
self-cultivated.







The conquest of the self is first, and the development of self is 2nd. Release from self is the final -- this release from atma or self is called the Dharmakaya, the sacrifice of self is the Sambhogkaya in the Mahayana. :smile:
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