proof of nirvana?

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Ayu
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Re: proof of nirvana?

Post by Ayu » Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:19 pm

Supramundane wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:24 am
A friend of mine naively asked me the other day, "is there any proof of Nirvana? can you show it to me?"

Before i tell you how i answered, i am curious to know your answers.
Can we prove the existence of Nirvana, either through logic or sutras?

it is a fair question after all.




Btw, I answered in the affirmative:)
I think it is a deluded sentiment to think everything can be proven scientifically. There are countless things we assume without any scientific proof. Just think of the philosophy of human science... Nothing is proven there, but one philosopher quotes the former colleagues and like this a whole complicated science is being built up. :smile:
For the benefit and ease of all sentient beings. :heart:

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Supramundane
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Re: proof of nirvana?

Post by Supramundane » Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:15 am

Caoimhghín wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:00 pm
Supramundane wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:05 am
Caoimhghín wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:04 am
Nirvāṇa isn't really a "verb," it's a noun derived from a past participle of a verb (√vā, to blow --> vāna, blown) with a prefix added to the front (nis/nir, out).

Nirvāṇa, the "out-blown," or the "extinguished."
ah very true.
i should have said, "Nibutti", which i believe is the verb i was looking for.
It's rather difficult to find but I think the Sanskrit corresponding to that Pāli is nivṛtti.
Very useful, thank u

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Supramundane
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Re: proof of nirvana?

Post by Supramundane » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:55 am

Ayu wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:19 pm
Supramundane wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:24 am
A friend of mine naively asked me the other day, "is there any proof of Nirvana? can you show it to me?"

Before i tell you how i answered, i am curious to know your answers.
Can we prove the existence of Nirvana, either through logic or sutras?

it is a fair question after all.




Btw, I answered in the affirmative:)
I think it is a deluded sentiment to think everything can be proven scientifically. There are countless things we assume without any scientific proof. Just think of the philosophy of human science... Nothing is proven there, but one philosopher quotes the former colleagues and like this a whole complicated science is being built up. :smile:
Hi Ayu

I think we are all familiar of the metaphor of the self as a wave in the ocean; meaning that the wave has no instrinsic existence: it is but a transcient formation of certain aggregates. But when the wave is gone, when the aggregates are gone ---there is still something there--- that something is Nirvana.

After the extinguishing of the senses, what remains is Nirvana. The Buddha refused idealism; he refused nihilism. It is exactly in the Middle Way, that something else that Nirvana resides.

I agree with you that the only meaningful ‘proof’ is direct experience...

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Supramundane
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Re: proof of nirvana?

Post by Supramundane » Wed Apr 24, 2019 2:22 am

Stop the presses: maybe i have (reverse) proof of Nirvana:

What if we accept that the Self is the opposite of Nirvana; that we reach Nirvana by comprehending the illusory nature of self, that it is mere illusion and the root cause of misery by clinging to this delusion.

If we posit them as being diametrically opposed, then if we can disprove the existence of Self then we can prove Nirvana.

and any good Buddhist worth his salt can disprove the integrity of the Self or the concept of a True Self.

have i discovered a 'negative proof' of Nirvana?

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Aemilius
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Re: proof of nirvana?

Post by Aemilius » Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:14 pm

On the contrary, self exists in the ordinary everyday meaning even for Nagarjuna and Shakyamuni, see Dhammapada chapter on Self, and MMK. Famous monks too have passports, they have the nominal, biological, genetic and legislative identity.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)

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Supramundane
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Re: proof of nirvana?

Post by Supramundane » Sat Apr 27, 2019 4:34 am

Aemilius wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:14 pm
On the contrary, self exists in the ordinary everyday meaning even for Nagarjuna and Shakyamuni, see Dhammapada chapter on Self, and MMK. Famous monks too have passports, they have the nominal, biological, genetic and legislative identity.
True. On a conventional level.

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Re: proof of nirvana?

Post by Karma Dorje » Sun Apr 28, 2019 5:10 am

Supramundane wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:24 am
A friend of mine naively asked me the other day, "is there any proof of Nirvana? can you show it to me?"
Image
"Although my view is higher than the sky, My respect for the cause and effect of actions is as fine as grains of flour."
-Padmasambhava

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Re: proof of nirvana?

Post by Aemilius » Thu May 02, 2019 9:40 am

Supramundane wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 4:34 am
Aemilius wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:14 pm
On the contrary, self exists in the ordinary everyday meaning even for Nagarjuna and Shakyamuni, see Dhammapada chapter on Self, and MMK. Famous monks too have passports, they have the nominal, biological, genetic and legislative identity.
True. On a conventional level.
From the Anunatva-Apurnatva Nirdesa sutra, transl. Stephen Hodge, 2003:

"Furthermore, Shâriputra, these people give rise to a further three false opinions due to that false opinion of detraction. These three false opinions and their false opinion of detraction are mutually inseparable like the cords of a net. What are the three false opinions ? The first is the idea of nihilism (uccheda-vâda), that concerning utter annihilation, the second is the idea of cessation, that Nirvâna is thus, and the third is the idea that there is no Nirvâna, that Nirvâna is utter vacuity.

"Shâriputra, people are thus bound, thus seized, thus touched by these three opinions. Because of the power of these three opinions, they in turn give rise to another two false opinions. These two false opinions are inseparable from those two opinions like the cords of a net. What are these two opinions ? The first is the opinion concerning abstention and the second is the opinion that Nirvâna is utterly non-existent. Shâriputra, in dependence upon the opinion concerning abstention, a further two opinions arise. These two opinions are inseparable from the opinion concerning abstention like the cords of a net. What are these two opinions ? The first is the opinion that is attached to moral precepts (shîla-vrata-parâmarsha-drsti) and the second is the opinion that gives rise to the cognitive distortion that treats the impure as the pure.

Shâriputra, in dependence upon the opinion that that Nirvâna is utterly non-existent, a further six opinions arise. These six opinions are inseparable from the opinion that Nirvâna is non-existent like the cords of a net. What are these six opinions ? The first is the opinion that the world has no beginning, the second is the opinion that the world has no ending, the third is the opinion that beings are created as manifestations, the fourth is that there is neither suffering nor happiness, the fifth is that beings have no obligations (?), and the six is that there are no noble truths.

"Furthermore, Shâriputra, these people give rise to a further two opinions due to this false opinion of attribution. These two false opinions and that false opinion of attribution are mutually inseparable like the cords of a net. What are these two opinions ? The first is that Nirvâna has a starting point and the second is that Nirvâna comes into existence spontaneously without causes and conditions. Shâriputra, these two opinions cause beings to be devoid of any aspirations and strenuous effort directed at the wholesome factors (kuúala-dharma). Shâriputra, because they give rise to these two opinions, there is no chance of these people making any aspirations or efforts directed at the wholesome factors even though the seven Buddhas have appeared in the world in succession n order to teach the Dharma. Shâriputra, these two opinions ? the opinion that Nirvâna has a starting point and the opinion that Nirvâna comes into existence spontaneously without causes and conditions ? are ignorance (avidyâ), the root of afflictions (klesha).
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)

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gedatsu
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Re: proof of nirvana?

Post by gedatsu » Sat Jun 29, 2019 2:34 pm

Nirvana is never other than unconditioned (Skt. asaṃskṛta; Pali, asaṅkhata). How does a conditioned corporeal entity whose six senses are conditioned see the unconditioned? They don't. Thus no proof can come their way. They are so attached to the conditioned that they can't have an open mind. Such people are almost incorrigible. They first have to have faith in the Buddha's teaching.

About the unconditioned:
“Bhikkhus, there are these three characteristics that define the unconditioned. What three? No arising is seen, no vanishing is seen, and no alteration while it persists is seen. These are the three characteristics that define the unconditioned” (A. i. 152).
We can realize the unconditioned, that is, nirvana only because what is most intrinsic in each of us is unconditioned. It is by emptying out the conditioned that we realize (and remember) the unconditioned, that is, nirvana.

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Firebrik
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Re: proof of nirvana?

Post by Firebrik » Sat Sep 07, 2019 1:13 pm

seeker242 wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:48 pm
No, Nirvana is not a thing that can be shown. It's an absence of defilement. How are you going to prove the absence of greed or hate in someones mind? Although, it's quite logical to conclude that if hate can be reduced some, then it can be reduced more. If it can be reduced more, then it can be reduced even more than that. If it can be reduced even more than that, then there's no reason why it can't be reduced down to none. When all defilements are reduced to none, then Nirvana. :smile:
True, and when all outer things are subject to Pratityasamutpada, it is practically to know without said reduction.

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Firebrik
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Re: proof of nirvana?

Post by Firebrik » Sat Sep 07, 2019 1:17 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:14 pm
The concept of "proof" belongs to worldly knowledge. For something to be proven, it should be defined. For it to be defined, it should have an independent existence. Things have independent existence only in the worlds of conditions.
True, Bodhi by nature is always way out of the realm of intellectual discourse. It can be discussed intellectually but not really understood or known through discourse. It's always bound to trip up language.

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Aemilius
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Re: proof of nirvana?

Post by Aemilius » Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:48 am

There possibly is evidence of nirvana. If you can attain the formless dhyanas that gradually "thin-out" from inifinite space to neither perception nor non-perception, and after you come to the state of nirodha or the samadhi of cessation. You would need some persons capable of doing that, and then you could study their brains with CT scan or something of that kind to see what happens in their brains in these states.

Any "proof" is conventional to a large extent. You don't "know for yourself" that subatomic particles exist. You merely have faith in the authorities on this subject, who are venerated as such in our society. In a similar manner as subatomic particles are a normative truth in the present society, the state of nirvana could also be a truth known by specialists in some secret, very expensive laboratories. It would be a truth clothed in special language and terminology far above your understanding.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)

tkp67
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Re: proof of nirvana?

Post by tkp67 » Mon Sep 16, 2019 3:40 pm

In order to prove something regardless of what it is you need a basis. It seems a consensus exists here that defaults to science as a method of proof. Since it cannot science is not a valid basis.

However this betrays reality because if there was no proof outside of science buddha would have had no basis to share his enlightenment because none would exist and we would have had no way to understand it in a way meaningful enough to even seek the teachings. The basis is the human experience and the experience of suffering. The basis is the human ability to experience and extinguish suffering born from our own volition. Herein lies all the proof.

The problem here is that we expect the part of our mind that gives rise to suffering to understand how to explain itself outside that context when the state of mind required to experience nirvana isn't the state that gives constant rise to delusion.

Nirvana is not absolutely illusive because we sense it in the sublime part of pure conscious we all posses that is obfuscated by self. If we didn't we would seek it with conviction trying to know the "unknowable". We can sense the subtle variation of mind connected to us including the mind that experience(d) nirvana. In other words we can subliminally sense this in those who posses it even if it is so sublime we cannot verbalize it.

Underneath the rise of mind and manifestation of self is Nivana waiting for realization. Proof comes in realization that there is suffering that we experience that is an unreasonable fabrication of thought from our own mind and no longer abiding in that facet of the rising mind.

Is this proof of entering nirvana completely, achieving the highest enlightenment ever and becoming an incarnation understand the buddha as a means to understand this?

If one have ever comforted the mind of another because of self inflicted suffering such as helping a child conquer fear of the dark by understanding how to identify and extinguish the source there is proof of what the buddha taught in a very accessible way that we already know and express on a rudimentary but poignant level.

Because we are condition to expect answers like this to be known to humanity as "common sense" we tend to gloss over the answers that already exist at arms length.

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