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Buddhadharma : Spring 2016
38 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly spring 2 0 1 6 Note that in the second section of this passage that describes nibbana with no residue left, the feel- ing that is mentioned refers to the particular type of feeling that is experienced only by arahants. This is kammically indeterminate (abyakata) feeling, that cannot be said to be wholesome or unwholesome and produces no kammic results. Also, although only feeling is mentioned explicitly, it should be taken to include all five aggregates. The arahant has no involvement with any of the aggregates that might lead to rebirth. None of the phenomena that one experiences while still alive are associated with desire, pride, or wrong view. Thus they all arise and pass away completely, without leaving any kammic residue that might create the potential for another life. A fire that does not get any more fuel cannot continue to burn but simply dies down and becomes extinguished. Likewise, an arahant’s aggregates that have been caused through previous kamma do not arise as a new life or new aggregates but, after hav- ing arisen, simply cease and become extinguished. After the cessation of the aggregates, the aggregates no longer arise. As a result, the aggregates that con- stantly arise in an arahant due to the momentum of previous kamma do not continue to arise in a new life but are extinguished in this very life. Nibbana without residue remaining is synony- mous with the cessation of the aggregates (khand- haparinibbana). Once the path has been attained, and after having entered parinibbana, there is no longer any opportunity for the arising of mental and physical phenomena that would come into existence if the path were not attained. In addition, cessation of the five aggregates is accomplished with the real- ization of the path knowledge of arahantship. However, this cessation is not something that actually arises, so it cannot be described in terms of time. Prior to the development of the path, the defilements and their resultant phenomena (new life, aggregates) may arise at any time when the conditions are favorable. However, such potential defilements and phenomena cannot be said to actu- ally exist in the past, present, or future. Thus they are considered to be “independent of time” (kalavi- mutta). Thus both kinds of nibbana—nibbana with residue and nibbana without residue—are indepen- dent of time. They cannot be said to exist in the past, present, or future. Therefore, one should not ask questions such as “Did the nibbana that was experienced at the moment of knowledge of change-of-lineage occur in the past, present, or future?” These two Nibbana-elements were made known By the Seeing One, stable and unattached: One is the element seen here and now With residue, but with the cord of being destroyed; The other, having no residue for the future, Is that wherein all modes of being utterly cease. Having understood the unconditioned state, Released in mind with the cord of being destroyed, They have attained to the Dhamma-essence. Delighting in the destruction (of craving), Those stable ones have abandoned all being. —Itivuttaka In these verses, the cessation of the defilements or the aggregates—that is, nibbana either with or without residue remaining—is called the uncondi- tioned. Just as the opposites of fire and water, heat and cold, dark and light, or jungle and open space, so is it the opposite of conditioned phenomena and therefore called the unconditioned. Nibbana is also called a “state” (pada) because it can be attained and experienced through the path knowledge and fruition knowledge. Based on this, it can be con- cluded that the nibbana that is experienced through path and fruition is the same as the two types of nibbana with and without residue remaining. If this were not the case, then the Abhidhamma would be incorrect in saying this: