[Buddha-l] Re: Nirvana si, bodhi no! [was liturgical languages]

Richard P. Hayes rhayes at unm.edu
Sat May 14 08:15:20 MDT 2005

On Sat, 2005-05-14 at 11:15 +0100, Mike Austin wrote:

> I am not angry with anyone at the moment.  I am not in nirvana because I 
> may get angry with someone tomorrow. I still have the roots of anger. If 
> I reach nirvana, how will I know these roots have completely gone?

There is not way of knowing one has attained nirvana. There is only
knowing one has not attained it. If you think you may have attained it,
the best thing to do is wait. Eventually evidence to the contrary will
present itself. But my point is that the criteria for knowing are very
clear, whereas there are no criteria at all for knowing whether or not
one has attained bodhi.

> For example, you don't need someone to tell you that you 
> have a generous mind - nor do you need someone to tell you that you have 
> performed a generous act.

You have given me instances of kusala-citta, which is not at all
synonymous with bodhi.

> Balderdash!

Aha! Anger! See! If you wait long enough, evidence that you have not
attained nirvana will present itself.

> Not one of your better posts, Richard. 

Who cares about the results. I had a hell of a lot of fun writing it.
Sorry you didn't have as much fun reading it as I had writing it.

> But maybe you do not need someone to tell you that.

Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I don't much care what
others think of my posts when I enjoy writing them.

Richard Hayes
Department of Philosophy
University of New Mexico

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