2

Please answer these two questions:

1a. Suppose there is an ignorant person named X who is grasping to the aggregates as 'self' (let's call this just 'grasping'). Suppose X's material body is being destroyed by cancer. X is suffering very much because of grasping. For X the incoming termination of life is hell in the here & now because of grasping. For X termination of life is reality in the here & now because of grasping. Suppose X life will be terminated while X is grasping. My question is: in the described case of person X, will grasping stop after X's dead material body is put in the coffin and buried in the ground?

2a. Suppose there is an enlightened person named Z who is not grasping to the aggregates as 'self' (let's call this just 'grasping'). Suppose Z's material body is being destroyed by cancer. Z is not suffering because of freedom from grasping. For Z the incoming termination of life is liberating because of freedom from grasping. For Z termination of life does not exist in the here & now because of freedom from grasping. Suppose Z life will be terminated while Z is free from grasping. My question is: in the described case of person Z, will grasping re-arise after Z's dead material body is put in the coffin and buried in the ground?

2

1a. will grasping stop?

Grasping will not stop, grasping occurs.

2a. will grasping re-arise?

Grasping will not re-arise, grasping will not stop, grasping occurs.

There is no enlightened person, there is no ignorant person, there is just grasping, aka neurosis. This neurosis is what's passed from life to life. Once you learn to be free from neurosis, you learn to be free from termination of life, from "person" etc.

  • Andrei, is your answer regarding 2a same as the answer of ChrisW? (read in the comments section of his answer for further clarifications). – beginner Oct 4 '17 at 11:56
  • Yes, I think they are very similar. – Andrei Volkov Oct 4 '17 at 13:08
3

In case one, there is re-birth - hence he continues with grasping. In the second case (for an Arahant), there is no rebirth.

2

The question is whether (in each case) grasping will stop or re-arise.

So far as I understand it:

  • Aggregates arise and cease
  • Aggregates may cease here (death) and re-arise there (birth)
  • Generally clinging-aggregates are dukkha (says the first noble truth)
  • View of 'self' (identity views) are dukkha (says the doctrine of anatta)

The above are (and remain) universal truths regardless of X and Z.

X and Z inherit their own kamma. One is and the other isn't ignorant of these truths, one does and the other doesn't suffer.

  • Please let me know if I understood your answer correctly. In the case 1a aggregates would re-arise and grasping to the aggregates as 'self' would continue? And in the case of 2a you're saying that aggregates would re-arise, but there will be no grasping to these aggregates as 'self', thus grasping will stop? If I didn't understand it correctly, then please just add a simple answer so that I can understand. – beginner Oct 4 '17 at 9:02
  • In the second case and the first, aggregates continue to be born; but when person Z stops grasping she is liberated. – ChrisW Oct 4 '17 at 9:39
  • So, 1a: grasping continues for X. 2a: grasping stops for Z. Further explanation: 1a: when grasping continues for X, aggregates (people) continue to arise, but X is not liberated from these aggregates. 2a: even though grasping stops for Z, aggregates (people) continue to arise, but Z is liberated from these aggregates. If what I wrote corresponds to your answer, you can, if you think it would be helpful for other readers, add it in your answer, because right now your answer can be interpreted also in some other way. – beginner Oct 4 '17 at 10:22
  • I'll leave your comment in case it helps, but the answer was as clear as I could make it. IMHO your question belongs to the category of "will I exist in future?" (Sabbasava Sutta). – ChrisW Oct 4 '17 at 10:29
  • Ok. If my comment is in conformation with your answer, then it's ok to stay and I understand your answer. Thanks for answering. – beginner Oct 4 '17 at 11:58
-1

My question is: in the described case of person X, will grasping stop after X's dead material body is put in the coffin and buried in the ground?

I sense this 1st question falls outside of the sphere of Buddhism because in the suttas I am not aware of any teachings about "grasping" & "rebirth". The teachings about "rebirth" are about good & bad kamma, which are mundane/worldly (refer to MN 117). Where as "grasping" falls into the supramundane/transcendent teachings. For example, in MN 144, it is said the monk that has "grasping" prior to the termination of life is "blameworthy" rather than is subject to kammic inheritance. The common idea in the suttas intepretated & translated as "rebirth" or "reappearance" is about kammic inheritance. These teachings assume there is grasping because these teachings refer to "a being" ("satta") that inherits kamma. The word "satta" literally means "grasping" because the word "satta" itself means "to cling" (refer to SN 23.2).

In summary, a person or mind that has comprehendeded "grasping", per the instructions on the 1st sermon, should abandoned the cause of that grasping (i.e, craving) to reach Nibbana. Where as the teachings about "kammic inheritance" (aka "rebirth") are for puthujjana who have not comprehended grasping.

Any mind that has truly comprehended the nature of grasping (the 1st noble truth) must truly comprehend the other noble truths. This shows the question here is merely intellectual.

For Z the incoming termination of life is liberating because of freedom from grasping.

The suttas list many types of liberation of mind (ceto-vimutti) that occurs to a living mind, such as:

The immeasurable (loving-kindness) mind-release, the (perception of) nothingness mind-release, the emptiness (sunnata) mind-release, the theme-less-mind-release... MN 43

The Z mind (not the 'Z person') was liberated before the termination of life. At the termination of life, there is no liberation because there is no mind, as follows:

'... after the termination of life, all that is sensed, not being relished, will grow cold right here.' MN 140

The term 'liberation' in Buddhism is liberation of mind (rather than liberation from mind). At the termination of life, there can be no liberation of mind because there is no mind anymore.

My question is: in the described case of person Z, will grasping re-arise after Z's dead material body is put in the coffin and buried in the ground?

The mind free from grasping views the termination of life as merely the ending of the aggregates. Please refer to SN 22.85 here, which answers the question conclusively.

Previously, my friend Sariputta, I did foolishly hold that evil supposition. But now, having heard your explanation of the Dhamma, I have abandoned that evil supposition, and have broken through to the Dhamma.

Then, friend Yamaka, how would you answer if you are thus asked: "A monk, a worthy one, with no more mental effluents: what is he on the break-up of the body, after death?"

Thus asked, I would answer, 'Form is inconstant... Feeling... Perception... Fabrications... Consciousness is inconstant. That which is inconstant is unsatisfactory. That which is unsatisfactory has ceased and gone to its end.

Very good, my friend Yamaka. Very good.

SN 22.85

  • You didn't answer the two questions 1a and 2a. The questions were: 1a "Will grasping stop after X's dead material body is put in the coffin and buried in the ground?" and 2a "Will grasping re-arise after Z's dead material body is put in the coffin and buried in the ground?" – beginner Oct 3 '17 at 20:23
  • I will try to answer it later. I have important things to do now. In the mean time, try to realise what the absence of grasping is. If this occurs, the questions you have written may become irrelevant. I will return in a few hours within which "you" might attain stream-entry. – Dhammadhatu Oct 3 '17 at 20:30
  • I didn't downvoted your answer. I think it's useful. At least to me because I want to understand. Also I'm very thankful for taking the time to answer. Thank you. Please let's just put the suttas aside for a moment and do baby steps so that even me can understand. If I understand your answer to question 1a correctly, your answer is "grasping stops"? – beginner Oct 3 '17 at 22:55
  • Can you please answer my last question in the comments? – beginner Oct 4 '17 at 11:54
  • I can't factually answer your question, because it is speculation, however there are suttas (MN 38; SN 22.53) that seem to say mind cannot exist without sense organs & without a physical body (rupa). Regards – Dhammadhatu Oct 4 '17 at 11:57

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