08 March 2008

Burning Body

0




(courtesy of deviantART)


Nirvana (Sanskrit) and Nibbana (Pali) means "to extinguish". But, it is important to remember that during the time of Buddha 'fire' was a positive element in the life of ancient Brahmins, the ruling religious class of the time. To Brahmins, extinguishing a fire would not have implied a total cessation of everything - would not have been annihilation.

Our conditioned, samsaric existence - the endless cycle of suffering and death and rebirth - exists in relation to our senses. Attraction and aversion are states we are trapped within as though fuel to a fire. Nirvana then is the freedom of a fire releasing its grip on fuel. The state of no-burning, rather than an extinguished state, might have been perceived as the final stage of liberation of the burning fire.

Thanissaro Bhikkhu clarifies that ...
"Buddha used nibbana more as an image of freedom. Apparently, all Indians at the time saw burning fire as agitated, dependent, and trapped, both clinging and being stuck to its fuel as it burned. To ignite a fire, one had to "seize" it. When fire let go of its fuel, it was "freed," released from its agitation, dependence, and entrapment -- calm and unconfined."(excerpt from Nibbana, T. Bhikkhu )



Buddha's Fire Sermon:

"Monks, the All is aflame. What All is aflame? The eye is aflame. Forms are aflame. Consciousness at the eye is aflame. Contact at the eye is aflame. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the eye -- experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain -- that too is aflame. Aflame with what? Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion. Aflame, I tell you, with birth, aging and death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, and despairs.

"The ear is aflame. Sounds are aflame. Consciousness at the ear is aflame. Contact at the ear is aflame. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the ear -- experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain -- that too is aflame. Aflame with what? Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion. Aflame, I tell you, with birth, aging and death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, and despairs.

"The nose is aflame. Aromas are aflame. Consciousness at the nose is aflame. Contact at the nose is aflame. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the nose -- experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain -- that too is aflame. Aflame with what? Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion. Aflame, I tell you, with birth, aging and death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, and despairs.

"The tongue is aflame. Flavors are aflame. Consciousness at the tongue is aflame. Contact at the tongue is aflame. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the tongue -- experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain -- that too is aflame. Aflame with what? Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion. Aflame, I tell you, with birth, aging and death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, and despairs.

"The body is aflame. Tactile sensations are aflame. Consciousness at the body is aflame. Contact at the body is aflame. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the body -- experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain -- that too is aflame. Aflame with what? Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion. Aflame, I tell you, with birth, aging and death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, and despairs.

"The intellect is aflame. Ideas are aflame. Consciousness at the intellect is aflame. Contact at the intellect is aflame. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the intellect -- experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain -- that too is aflame. Aflame with what? Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion. Aflame, I say, with birth, aging and death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, and despairs.

"Seeing thus, the instructed noble disciple grows disenchanted with the eye, disenchanted with forms, disenchanted with consciousness at the eye, disenchanted with contact at the eye. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the eye, experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain: With that, too, he grows disenchanted."

(Theravāda Vinaya)







0 comments:

 
Design by ThemeShift | Bloggerized by Lasantha