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Buddhist theories all summed up to the point of Nibbana. They have reached the goal, gone there(Tathagat). They conclude holy life is lived and goal attained. Cessation of becoming(No new formation).

But, when asked, Do Tathagata exist after death? is absurd question. It is that our individuality arise and ceases. So, why the buddhist assume there is stopping of birth and death? Tathagata is synonym for ocean, where waves are arise and passes away, which we calls individuality. Tathagata is the root of Tree of Samsara. It's branches and leaves are species and karmic stations respectively. So, when one attain to the root, the whole tree(Samsara) appears as mere bubbles or foam, rising and falling, absolute impermanent. So, having so, why do they preach after attaining the Root, one attain freedom form birth and death? They are not. Because from root, a new one is formed and rolled on, in this continuous existence. That's why, its been asked by some of recluse of higher wisdom, Do Tathagata (the one who goes to that, the one who ceases) exist after fall of body and life? Buddha answered: Silence! I feel that doesn't stop the new creation or new forming of individual. Hence I conclude, there is no such freedom from birth again. Why?

My assumption is that, the one who arise and ceases, doesn't exist in reality! It's like dream of someone else's and dream can't be true or real. It's only the dreamer tends to be real. Tathagata(gati of the one)literally means to merge in Brahman. The dreamer. And see this universe as mere dream. So,it appears that no new dream arise after cessation of current dream, but not so. You can control the dream but not the dreamer. The Brahman. That's why in Indian village, Saint Chokha says, 'What a miracle! The God of god is gone mad!' He is saying about Brahman. Also in Bhuridatta Jataka, The Arhats said the same thing. enter image description here,

  • how is the Jataka quote related to the question? – Dhammadhatu Nov 6 '20 at 4:48
  • are you Indian? if so, what does the word "jati" ("birth") mean in India? thanks – Dhammadhatu Nov 6 '20 at 4:56
  • Jati is not term for birth in fullest sense. It's a karmic station or point of karmic pool. 84 lacs of karmic station exists. The individual karmas in the life accumulated and define the Jati of the one according to deeds. Jati literally close to the word 'Species'! In fullest sense 'karmic stations of species'. – Nikhil Date Nov 6 '20 at 18:09
  • When Buddha says, 'Ayama antima Jati', he means Jati(cessation of all species) is ended and I am the Ancient. Samma samadhi is end of holy life. sam+adhi here sam =same and adhi=ancient one or which were I was before creation! Buddha here literally mean, I am the ancient, I am awake! – Nikhil Date Nov 6 '20 at 18:19
  • Upanishada also said the same thing, Thou art that. But they arranged the formula of 'neti neti' not this, not this. Neti body, neti sensation, neti feeling, neti mind, neti sanskaras, neti perception. From negation of one over other, they want to arrive the goal. But the goal is still positive one. So, the formula fails even describing what is left at the end. No one could fathoms the depth of the Ancient and Unborn. Buddha only speaks what he knows, the way and stayed away from speculation and debate of the Truth. – Nikhil Date Nov 6 '20 at 18:36
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The Pali suttas define "jati" ("birth") as a "category/group of beings" ("sattanikāye") (SN 12.2).

The Pali suttas define "a being" ("satta") as "strong attachment", "a view", "a convention" (SN 23.2; SN 5.10).

A summary of the above is found in MN 98, as follows:

The distinctions among humans; vokārañca manussesu,

are spoken of by convention; samaññāya pavuccati.

The Pali suttas also define "death" ("marana") as related to a "category of beings" ("sattanikāye") (SN 12.2). For example, a "category of beings" includes, "mother", "father", "son", "daughter", etc, as follows:

Long have you experienced the death of a mother... the death of a father... the death of a brother... the death of a sister... the death of a son... the death of a daughter... loss with regard to relatives... loss with regard to wealth... loss with regard to disease.... SN 15.3

And what may be said to be subject to birth? Spouses & children are subject to birth. Men & women slaves... goats & sheep... fowl & pigs... elephants, cattle, horses, & mares... gold & silver are subject to birth. Subject to birth are these acquisitions, and one who is tied to them, infatuated with them, who has totally fallen for them, being subject to birth, seeks what is likewise subject to birth. And what may be said to be subject to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement? Spouses & children... men & women slaves... goats & sheep... fowl & pigs... elephants, cattle, horses, & mares... gold & silver are subject to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement. Subject to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement are these acquisitions, and one who is tied to them, infatuated with them, who has totally fallen for them, being subject to birth, seeks what is likewise subject to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement. MN 26

The word "marana" for "death" is not used in the Pali suttas in relation to the passing away of a Noble One because a Noble One is free from self-view or identity. Here, the word used for the passing away of a Noble One is generally "kālaṅkata" ("ending of time").

In summary, the words "birth" ("jati") & "death" ("marana") in original Buddhism refers to "self-views" or "categories of identity". An Arahant has ended "birth & death" even though they are still alive. It follows the Pali suttas say:

Bhikkhu, ‘I am’ is a conceiving; ‘I am this’ is a conceiving; ‘I shall be’ is a conceiving; ‘I shall not be’ is a conceiving; ‘I shall be possessed of form’ is a conceiving; ‘I shall be formless’ is a conceiving; ‘I shall be percipient’ is a conceiving; ‘I shall be non-percipient’ is a conceiving; ‘I shall be neither-percipient-nor-non-percipient’ is a conceiving. Conceiving is a disease, conceiving is a tumour, conceiving is a dart. By overcoming all conceivings, bhikkhu, one is called a sage at peace. And the sage at peace is not born, does not age, does not die; he is not shaken and does not yearn. For there is nothing present in him by which he might be born. Not being born, how could he age? Not ageing, how could he die? Not dying, how could he be shaken? Not being shaken, why should he yearn?

MN 140

In conclusion, Nirvana really means stopping of birth & death and it ensures that no new one will arise again because Nirvana is the stopping of "self-views" or "identity".

  • To summed up everything except 'That' ceases. The uncreated and unborn. The ancient. Universe is mere a reflection on That and without permanent self. No one is there who is bound and no one seeking freedom. Thats the permanent truth. Only by ignorance he felt bound and with knowledge he feels free! So, bondage and freedom is notion of Mind, nothing else. Mind is the real thief! – Nikhil Date Nov 7 '20 at 4:40
  • Great answer! Very true. When one freed from all conditions and state of mind, even death is seen as illusion. Everything dies, everything remains both are false statement. Truth lies in middle of it. – Nikhil Date Nov 7 '20 at 4:46
  • World is a magic play of the Ancient. The suffering lies in attachment to life. Ancient sages of India said, animals are naturally perfect with wisdom. How? If you show them mirror, they look away! Like they already know 'it's not me or mine'! Only human need a mirror. I feel the Humanity is blind. Human clings to life and not give it up even when death comes. Me and mine always exist. – Nikhil Date Nov 7 '20 at 4:58
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Nirvana/Kensho/Satori is only a "goal" as long as you haven't experienced it. The experience conveys the one-ness, emptiness and interconnectivity of all phenomena. In some Buddhist schools, this is referred to as "the Great Death", as this reveals the "I" as an illusion.

But from that point onward, attainment has been achieved and is no longer the "driving goal" of practice. In Zen, for example, this is illustrated in a sequence of drawings called the "Oxherding Pictures". The first nine pictures illustrate the stages toward attainment. The tenth however, shows the practitioner:

enter image description here

10. Return to Society Barefooted and naked of breast, I mingle with the people of the world. My clothes are ragged and dust-laden, and I am ever blissful. I use no magic to extend my life; Now, before me, the dead trees become alive

A good book about life after attainment is Jack Kornfield's "After the Ecstasy, the Laundry".

As to whether attainment stops the cycle of birth and death, the answer depends on what you ask is being born and dying. If you ask for the "I", then attainment will show this "I" to be an illusion. If you ask it for the emptiness of all phenomena, the most honest answer is "we do not know". "I"

  • Thank you for beautiful picturesome quotes. The picture depict the attainment as perfect it is. My clothes are ragged and dust laden.....Ah what a marvelous phrase. He is saying my inner cloth is been coloured as that the colour of Nirvana. The original meaning of 'Chiver' or buddhist robe not of cloth but of inward attainment. The picture also speaks in my opinion as after attainment, 'Meditator is realised himself as meditation'! 'Seer turn into seen'..What a miracle! – Nikhil Date Nov 7 '20 at 10:49
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You attained Nibbana while you are alive not after death. The best simile I can use is the undoing a knote. Consciousness raises due to causes and conditions. When the conditions are not there, there is no consciousness. It appears your view is similar to Brahmanism or Hinduism.

  • Sorry sir, i am of no religion. No 'ism' ever exist in me. Pardon me for labelling as such. – Nikhil Date Nov 6 '20 at 18:22
  • Sorry. I did not say that you are a Hindu. What I said was that the idea is more close to Hinduism than the Buddhism. – SarathW Nov 7 '20 at 0:09
  • No no my fault. I supposed that way. Yes, as far as Truth is concern, I believe, it is of no Authority. Buddha in ancient times didn't convert from one faith to other or his faith. He said, follow your religion whatever it may be, but The Eightfold path is the true way. In edicts of Ashoka, it's written, one must not praise one's own religion and condemn other's. But praise the other one also for which is upright, in this way, you will foster your own religion. – Nikhil Date Nov 7 '20 at 5:26
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Freedom from birth and death means freedom from concepts and boundaries. Especially ones like "i am this organism". When you see beyond the organisms, then how can someone die or get born?

When you see the continuous change and the interconnectedness, how can "one arise again"?

Who is "one"? Where is it?

  • Yes sir. You have put it right. Only one who see his individuality as mere illusion, only for him death and birth can't apply. But for others it's there. I will put forth in example. 'If lamp flame with oil of 'I' is burning, and when it extinguished, who will know that the flame is no more?!' – Nikhil Date Nov 6 '20 at 18:51
  • Buddha said it very clearly, 'When this dependent origination dawns on the meditative Brahmana, then all doubts of the 'One who know' passes away!' The one who knows is not you nor different from you nor both nor neither. 'The one who knows' is beyond expression and limit. – Nikhil Date Nov 6 '20 at 18:59
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Buddhist theories all summed up to the point of Nibbana. They have reached the goal, gone there(Tathagat). They conclude holy life is lived and goal attained. Cessation of becoming(No new formation).

Right.

But, when asked, Do Tathagata exist after death? is absurd question.

No, it is absurd question when the absurd person asking only.

It is that our individuality arise and ceases. So, why the buddhist assume there is stopping of birth and death?

According to Abhidhamma and DN22, birth is arising, death is ceasing.

There is no personal birth because a person is the combination of many various realities arising and ceasing relatively. It is not "nothing", but there are many realities which we are thinking it is real person.

Tathagata is synonym for ocean, where waves are arise and passes away, which we calls individuality. Tathagata is the root of Tree of Samsara. It's branches and leaves are species and karmic stations respectively. So, when one attain to the root, the whole tree(Samsara) appears as mere bubbles or foam, rising and falling, absolute impermanent. So, having so, why do they preach after attaining the Root, one attain freedom form birth and death? They are not. Because from root, a new one is formed and rolled on, in this continuous existence. That's why, its been asked by some of recluse of higher wisdom, Do Tathagata (the one who goes to that, the one who ceases) exist after fall of body and life? Buddha answered: Silence! I feel that doesn't stop the new creation or new forming of individual. Hence I conclude, there is no such freedom from birth again. Why?

My assumption is that, the one who arise and ceases, doesn't exist in reality! It's like dream of someone else's and dream can't be true or real. It's only the dreamer tends to be real. Tathagata(gati of the one)literally means to merge in Brahman. The dreamer. And see this universe as mere dream. So,it appears that no new dream arise after cessation of current dream, but not so. You can control the dream but not the dreamer. The Brahman. That's why in Indian village, Saint Chokha says, 'What a miracle! The God of god is gone mad!' He is saying about Brahman. Also in Bhuridatta Jataka, The Arhats said the same thing.

If you learn Patthana in Abhidhamma, you will see how it work. And if you meditate like Pa-auk Tawya, you can see how hard is it to let it done.

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When there is still desire for becoming (bhava-tanha) Nibbana isn't reached, the task not done and the source not uprooted, destroyed and so jati in another womb, taking on another stand, is to be expected.

Nobody would arise here, if no more will for becoming.

Looking aboit the foolish speculating answers, that popular under the secular justifing objected miss out "neither exist nor not exist" or both... still incapable to take no stand (jati).

"...With the ending of jati, birth, aging, death... the whole mass of suffering ends."

If there would be still birth, aging,... death, the task had failed. Pointless question and even more pointless answers at large. But it's by an element that beings find together, again and again... Full of pains, desires, restless, they feed each other like the dogs slander yoling and barking through the nights... "we are free of identification, wroof, wroof..."

Even a foolish baby-boy, not to speak of consuming pets, have no identification view... yet, age, suffer die...

Sure, the more confused the more one wouldn't see why having taken birth nor why one again and again ages, decays, not even being aware of suffering, still finding things to consume.

[Note that this isn't given for stacks, exchange, other world-binding trades, but for liberation]

  • My dear sir, If there is no permanent self then how can be there rebirth? Due to ignorance he was perceiving as 'I' am bound! Ignorance is the root. Universe is rotating wheel from time immemorial, it's axle is the ancient. How you can break the wheel? One don't have to break the wheel, no you can't, but to be one with axle and bear as witness. You only witness it without reacting to what goes in the universe. Whether you live or die is of no consequences to you. Being one with Ancient Axel or Witness is the relieving of all doubts and suffering. Remember Axle never rotate, only the wheel! – Nikhil Date Nov 8 '20 at 4:08
  • My person does no more maintain a refrigerator, does good householder still do? Brain-mastubation isn't the way out of the wheel, so excuses aren't refuges if still turning around, seeking food for ones stand. Ehipassiko, "come, do, and then see". – Samana Johann Nov 8 '20 at 6:03
  • My beloved, In India Kabir the Weaver(Householder) got the refuge, Ravidas the footwear maker (Householder) got it, Meera the Sole housewife got it(Householder). Many like Nanak, Tukaram, Gorakhnath, Namdev, Pipa(householders got the refuge). Colouring outward robes doesn't mean (Chiver) but the inner robe stained with dye of Love. Your words are not pleasing to the accord to the word Samana. But, still I believe, the Monk with wisdom, is even higher than householder with wisdom. – Nikhil Date Nov 8 '20 at 8:56
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Does Nirvana really means stopping of birth and death? Does it ensures that no new one will arise again?

Depending on the context, there's the Nibbana-with-residue-remaining(sa-upadisesaNibbanadhatu), where the Arahant attains while still living (the Five Aggregates still exist, hence the "residue-remaining"); And there's the Nibbana-without-residue (anupadisesaNibbanadhatu), the Final Nibbana with the Arahant's final passing away. It's the latter context that guarantees no further rebirth, as per that Arahantship's signature stock phrase being mentioned repeatedly throughout the Canon:

Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for the sake of this world." ~~ Refs ~~

  • the stock phrase is not about Nibbana-without-residue. also, both types of Nibbana end "birth". as for "rebirth", the word "jati" does not mean "rebirth". based on the three errors out of three sentences in your answer, i had to mark this answer down. – Dhammadhatu Nov 7 '20 at 1:40
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    @Dhammadhatu, don't put your own words into the Buddha's mouth. It's clear that the Buddha taught literal rebirths thru-out the suttas. Since you keep misrepreseting the suttas, I had to mark your answer down. – santa100 Nov 7 '20 at 2:38
  • the word "jati" does not mean "rebirth". – Dhammadhatu Nov 7 '20 at 2:51
  • Useless argument. The OP asked about literal rebirth and I've provided related quotes. Nothing to do with your "jati" red herring. – santa100 Nov 7 '20 at 2:52

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