Lazy_eye wrote:What you describe above doesn't sound at all equivalent to annihilation as understood by a materialist. So how could it be correct to use suicide as an analogy with regard to Mahayana aspirations?
I did not say that.
In Śrāvakayāna the idea of nirupadhiśeṣa-nirvāṇa is understood as cessation of the skandhas and this mass of suffering.
Both the suicidal intent of the materialist and the intent of liberation of the Śrāvakayāna practitioner are driven by the same motivation: to achieve freedom from suffering and escape an intolerable reality.
In Mahāyāna this is not the intent of one's practice. In Mahāyāna one comes to see this intolerable reality as actually tolerable, so positively engaging reality for the benefit of beings becomes a joy, not a chore.
In short, I don't see any Buddhist yana in which the goal of the path could be equated with annihilation, and thus an analogy to suicide is misleading. Dangerously so, I would say.
Śrāvakayāna seeks the permanent cessation of one's existence which is equated to a mass of suffering.