Several ways to Nibbāna

It seems there are several ways to Nibbāna:

(1) Become a Sammasambuddha
(2) Become a Paccekabuddha
(3) Be ordained and become an Arahant (Savaka)
(4) Not ordained but become an Arahant (and attain Parinibbana shortly)
(5) Become an Anagami and reborn to Suddhavasa heaven; continue develop & attain Arahatship in Suddhavasa heavens and stay there till Parinibbāna.
(6) Antaraparinibbayi (attain Parinibbana shortly after rebirth)
(7) Become a Sotapanna, reborn as Deva or human in subsequent 7 lives, continue to develop up till Arahantship in final birth.
(8) Become a Sotapanna, reborn as a Deva, continue develop and reborn as a Deva in higher realm subsequently till Parinibbāna during final birth (7th birth).

It seems way to Nibbāna isn’t always simply like what EBT supporters advocated (Nibbāna here and now). There can be several ways to attain Nibbāna (though the path is same “ekayano maggo” as mentioned in Mahasatipatthana Sutta).

For me, I will choose option No.8 …
:sweat_smile:
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Have you thought about “who has the higher probability to achieve the result of (8), out of the persons with intentions (3) and (8)” ?
:nerd_face:

I don’t know what this means… nor do I really want to know.

I think there are 2 more groups:

  1. One can make a determination to become a disciple of the Buddha. It is a determination similar to a Paccekabuddha.
  2. There is also Cūḷasotāpanna (small sotāpanna). This is one who has finished proper paṭiccasamuppāda. It is listed in the vsm. While less secure and does not guarantee anything, if maintained until death, then it is guarantees sotāpanna immediately following death.

Surely #3 has better probability. If you are really determined to reach Nibbāna, what else matters? As Norman Vincent Peale said,

Shoot for the moon even if you miss you’ll land among the stars

“Nibbāna here and now” is often quoted by EBT people on another forum. It means if we practice the Dhamma, we will eventually be enlightened in this life. Of course, it is true in a way but EBT people seems to ignore the fact that Paramitas played an important role too.

In fact, the other forum now many people advocating that Gotama Buddha didn’t accumulate any Paramitas during his numerous past lives. But just somehow got enlightened.

IMG_20220430_234710

Now even the Buddha was not saved from their Papanca.

Certainly #3 would be more meritorious than #8. But, provided he/she following the right path.

I have seen monks that were of bad characters and strayed away from the Buddha’s teachings.

I have seen certain monks are endlessly engage in disgracing the ancient Pāli tradition that was preserved for thousands of years. I have also seen monks, while wearing robes, practising witchcraft and wrong practices. I have also seen a well recognised monk, while enjoying requisite offerings and fame, taught a form of Attavada (soul transmigration and Antarabhava exists) and even makes it as if Buddhavacana. These monks acting as if they were enlightened and often receiving much supports and praises, even followers (and some ordained under them). And soon their followers do the same thing. I find this terrifying.

There was a time that this thought even entered my mind: “Perhaps monkhood nowadays is much more dangerous than a householder’s livelihood. Like someone who is riding a big alpha elephant, high and comfort; yet if the position is not balanced and not well-trained, the elephant rider could fall from the back of elephant and hit the ground, which will lead to serious injuries, even death. So too, a monastic member, though enjoying moral high ground and supported by layfollowers; if he/she is not of good character or not well-trained in the Dhamma-Vinaya, he/she will too fall from good state and accumulates much demerits, even reborn as hell being due to unwholesome actions. Seeing that Adhamma is on the rise and Saddhamma is losing, why would I bet my well-being for it? If I am to be led by a misguided monk (while being unaware) and caught up in wrong views, surely there will be no hope in future. But if I remain as a virtuous layfollower, while accumulating merits such as Dana & Sila, carry out proper duties, working on Sotapatti Magga Phala & also making firm aspiration for Enlightenment…that would be a safer path. Just like a man or woman, sitting on a small chair; even if due to carelessness he/she should fall from the chair, still he/she will not incur serious injuries or death.” Such is my previous thought.

This is something I can experience by myself. For quite some time, I was taught that it is good to reject the tradition and authority (I was told by a local Sri Lankan temple’s Bhikkhu, a Dhamma teacher, I wouldn’t mention his name here, that I shouldn’t have read Visuddhimagga, for it is the reason why there is no more Arahant in Sri Lanka). I believed that and I even put away the book and shun all good teachings associated with this book. I even told my family members that this book is not of authentic Dhamma. For many years I was like a blind turtle, swimming here and there, couldn’t find a real answer to explain the one of the core factors in Paṭiccasamuppāda, which is “Viññāṇa paccaya Nāma-Rupa”. But for these years of confusion, though my dislike toward orthodoxy and confusion grows, I did not forget to do Kusala deeds such as donation, five precepts, chanting, Buddha puja offerings, etc. I got a habit of making aspiration that, “whatever good merits I accumulated, by that power of merits, may the right path appears to me !” Perhaps my aspiration works, one day when I was sitting pondering on my confusion in Dhamma topics, there I saw the bookshelf where my copy of Visuddhimagga situated. There I still remember that there was a sudden thought flashed in my mind: “I will read it now”. Then I pick up the book, sit down and read it with attended mind; when I reach Paññābhumi Niddesa, my confusion in “Viññāṇa paccaya Nāma-Rupa” is gone. Since then, I confess my folly and taken up Pāli Tipitaka along with Atthakatha.

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I guess the above is Puñña, and the below is Paññā.

:nerd_face:

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Yes, it seems that many Theravada Buddhists overlook the different paths to liberation admittedly, as well as other teachings such as the accumulation of merit for a better rebirth and an eventual but less than immediate attainment of nibbana. In favor of a nibbana in this life or bust mindset which I think is rather foolishly arrogant.

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The whole notion of EBT and Suttanta is that escaping saṃsāra is super easy and the commentaries which are based on the Abhidhamma complicate things (aka making enlightenment difficult).
The Buddha was very clear that it was not so simple and criticized ven ānanda.

One young and naïve monk who was about to leave na-uyana said that enlightenment is like baking a cake, you follow the instructions and you stick it in an oven.
The problem is that suttanta is like reading the ingredients of a candy bar wrapper and expecting to make it at home.

He was a typical suttanta. New to Buddhism and parroting the other suttantas. He later changed his mind, but in the end, he is a lay person now. I think he wants to ordain again, or may have done so already.

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I keep wanting to reply to some of those posts with a joke about some people being addicted to “instant gratification”… :rofl:

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Well, we can’t change how people wanted to believe it.

Good to see you here, Mikenz66.

Thanks for joining here Mike.
You might like to join in on this topic or add a topic of you own :pray:: Right effort and anatta

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If one is not aiming to become a very special person, one can achieve parami (paramitas) the amount needed for nirodha in this life time. One could become a cula-sotapanna or maha-sotapanna in this lifetime. One could have had enough parami fulfilled in past lives too. And that could be a reason why one found Buddha Dhamma.

There are Four Noble Truths. Magga Sacca is the path with many stages to climb. Every Arahant climbed the path, stage by stage. There is no way to reach the final stage without passing earlier stages.
Ehipassiko
Akaliko - Dhamma is akaliko - as can be realized right here right now if one knows how. That is explained this way –
Put a grain of salt on the tongue. The salty taste will immediately emerges, and gradually disappear – i.e. Nirodha Sacca. Just wait and see. And that is akaliko.
Monks may eat that way as a training (vipassana), know the taste when food enters the mouth and know the gradual disappearance of the taste. Often mentioned that if one can eat properly, one can attain enlightenment while eating.
Actually, monks and nuns are supposed to chant like 'eating food is not for entertainment, enjoyment or becoming hansome/beautiful and proud, but to have enough strength, to keep the body healthy, so that they can be training in two Sasana: Pariyatti and Patipatti, as the duty of Sangha.
Cutting off dukkha is a hard work. But once one has reached Nirodha (cessation), during mediation, there is no way back. Theinngu Sayadaw explained that if one has reached Nirodha once, there is no way back, no way downward, even if being pulled with steel chain, the chain would snap and cut, one would never go downward again.

https://www.vizawdayatheinn.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/10.-Theinngu-Method-of-Meditation.pdf Theinngu Yogi Check Your Own Mind. THEINNGU . MEDITATION CENTRE … Buddha and the THEINNG

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Hi,

at least I think the pursuing of nibbana in the same life is good. However, the Path is for the eradication of defilements and this is a very long Path. For this reason an stream-enterer is not an arhant despite the nibbana is the same for both. The thought about somebody can become a Buddha without kamma from previous lives, this sounds like a bizarre cult or from people without basic foundations in Dhamma.

When somebody go to see the differences between lesser ariyas, arhants and Buddhas, there are obvious things inside the Suttas that anyone can check. In example, we can see how the Buddha was able to reformulate outer practices and how He taught in all the possible ways for the individual needs of each person.

This is because the special knowledges of a Buddha. A Buddha is not another arhant. The Patisambhidāmagga from the Khuddaka Nikaya makes a summary of the 73 types of knowledges of a Buddha. Arhants and paccekabuddhas only have 67.

The 6 distinctive knowledges from a Buddha are:

Knowledge of the maturity levels of the five spiritual faculties (indriya paropariyatte ñāna)
Knowledge of the dispositions and underlying tendencies of beings (āsayanusaya ñāna)
Knowledge of the twin miracle (yamakapātihāra ñāna)
Knowledge of the attainment of great compassion (mahā karunāsamāpattiya ñāna)
Knowledge of Omniscience (sabbannuta ñāna)
Knowledge of un-obstructiveness (anāvarana ñāna)

a good summary of this issue:

“Through this extra ordinary knowledge that is possessed only by a Sammā Sambuddha, the Buddha was able to recognise the potential that any one possessed to benefit from listening to the teaching from the Buddha. According to Buddhist scriptures, even Arahant Sāriputta, who was second only to the Buddha in terms of his wisdom, did not possess this knowledge. The potential of an individual to benefit from listening to and practising the Buddha’s teaching depends on the level of maturity of five positive qualities of the mind known as the five spiritual faculties (pancha iṅdriya).”

Besides the previous differences, it is available for our logics the impossibility to become a Buddha without kamma from previous lives. Because when the nibbana is the same for all ariyas, and the arhants doesn’t have more defilements to eradicate, then we could arrive to the non-sense of make a difference between arhants and Buddhas. The same titles of Arhants and Buddhas would not have being spoken by the Buddha; all they would be named Buddhas or arhants but not both.

Differences between Buddhas with arhants and paccekhabuddhas only can come from the kamma of previous lives. There is no other exit for this issue.

Personally, I doubt that learned people in Buddhism can be ignorant of these facts in the teaching. I don’t know the cause of these absurd reformulations, although the attempt to hide the Rebirth is an old energy and well-known like also its main sponsor.

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We need not worry about whether we will be able to attain the goal of Nibbana in this life or whether we will only be able to do so under Buddha Ariya Metteyya. If we make the best effort we can, such questions will take care of themselves. We must grow as much as possible in slla, samadhi, and panna, confident that in this way we will be able to come to the end of all suffering.
Truth Will Triumph!

Page 26

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Are there any monasteries in Thailand which follows genuine Dhamma-vinaya?
What do you think about the monasteires mentioned in the following website?

https://embracing-buddhism.jimdofree.com/retreat-guide/thailand/

I don’t know about these Thai monasteries, personally. But, judging from the website, I think they are decent and good.

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I have listed Wat Khao Sanamchai in my “where to ordain post” There are about 12… and I think only 12 that are loosely affiliated with Wat Khao. They follow proper vinaya and proper scholarship. They also partner with pa-auk and other places for retreats during the breaks.

They do not shave their eyebrows and they do follow proper Buddhism instead of culture and tradition. You can wear robes of any color that is allowable. I really like that place. I have recommended two people to go there, and I think they will before vassa since Myanmar and Sri Lanka are difficult these days.

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An interesting thing about the word nibanna is that it has changed from a negative term into a positive term because most people know the word nibanna but does not know its meaning which is to be extinguished.

Some pali terms are better not translated to english because of their technical term, like dhamma or kamma.

But for nibanna maybe it is better to have it translated because it totally change the meaning.

If we want to stop a moving car (samsara) into a stopped state (nibanna), the best way is probably not to take it for a joy ride first before stopping it but rather slam the brake as hard as possible. Why? Because the car is on fire.

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True enough, Nibbāna is a subtle subject and that can only be fully understood by practising the Dhamma. The rest is just book knowledge.

So far, what I understood about Nibbāna is:

New set of Pancakhandha will not arise and there is no more renewal of existence (which brought about by fully eradicate greed, hatred and delusion).

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