I read the Lord Buddha taught nihilism is better than eternalism.

In which Pali suttas is this teaching found?

Please provide quote the relevant suttas. Please do not give personal opinions.

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Lord Buddha never said nihilism is better than eternalism.

It's actually the reverse as Nihilism comes under Niyata-micca ditti. It both blocks the path to heavens and blocks the path to Nibbana. That is why it is called Saggavarana, whereas eternalism is only called Maggavarana(blocks the path to Nibbana)

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Buddha never said that nihilism is better than eternalism. What he said was that people who take Rupa as self is more sensible than the people who take Nama as self because the mind is changing faster than the matter.

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  • Can you reference a sutta in which this is said? – ChrisW Aug 8 '17 at 11:46
  • Hi, Chris sorry I can't find the Sutta reference right now. – SarathW Aug 8 '17 at 12:11
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    SN 12.61: “It would be better, bhikkhus, for the uninstructed worldling to take as self this body composed of the four great elements rather than the mind. For what reason? Because this body composed of the four great elements is seen standing [...] for a hundred years or even longer. But that which is called ‘mind’ and ‘mentality’ and ‘consciousness’ arises as one thing and ceases as another by day and by night" – Thiago Aug 8 '17 at 12:21
  • This answer is irrelevant. – Dhammadhatu Aug 8 '17 at 17:19

There is in Dīghanakasutta, that is memorized by sariputta's students at 1st saṅgāyanā.

However, buddha neither taught to develop nihilism nor eternalism at all.

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  • Please quote from the sutta. – Dhammadhatu Aug 8 '17 at 17:18

In AN 10.29, it said:

(8) “Bhikkhus, of the speculative views held by outsiders, this is the foremost, namely: ‘I might not be and it might not be mine; I shall not be, and it will not be mine.’ For it can be expected that one who holds such a view will not be unrepelled by existence and will not be repelled by the cessation of existence. There are beings who hold such a view

In Iti 49, it is said:

And how, bhikkhus, do some hold back? Devas and humans enjoy being, delight in being, are satisfied with being. When Dhamma is taught to them for the cessation of being, their minds do not enter into it or acquire confidence in it or settle upon it or become resolved upon it. Thus, bhikkhus, do some hold back.

"How, bhikkhus, do some overreach? Now some are troubled, ashamed, and disgusted by this very same being and they rejoice in (the idea of) non-being, asserting: 'In as much as this self, good sirs, when the body perishes at death, is annihilated and destroyed and does not exist after death — this is peaceful, this is excellent, this is reality!' Thus, bhikkhus, do some overreach.

In these suttas, the Lord Buddha teach nihilism is better than eternalism because eternalism is based in lust, bondage, delighting & clinging, which are dirty defilements (kilesa/กิเลส).

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    In the first paragraph it is talking about end of Samsara. So in a Buddhist context it would be those who accept the existence of Nibbana and those who do not. It is not talking about anihilationism. How does the 2nd paragraph imply annihilationism is better? You seem to have a knack for misinterpreting the suttas. My advice is to you is stop thinking of yourself as a teacher and find a good Theravada teacher and study under him. – Sankha Kulathantille Aug 9 '17 at 6:05
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    It is not in this context as there's no reason to do good deeds if everything ends at death. Those who believe in life after death would usually do good deeds to make the next life better – Sankha Kulathantille Aug 9 '17 at 6:13
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    Murdering has nothing to do with believing in life after death. It's like saying "people who drink water rape women" :) – Sankha Kulathantille Aug 9 '17 at 6:23
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    Intention to preserve a Buddhist nation is indeed good Karma. But thinking that murdering will preserve Buddhism is bad karma as it involves wrong view. – Sankha Kulathantille Aug 9 '17 at 6:36
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    People kill in the name of religion because of wrong views. Not because of belief in afterlife :) – Sankha Kulathantille Aug 9 '17 at 6:46

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