Points of Controversy

6.5. Of the attaining to Cessation

Controverted Point: That the attainment of Cessation is unconditioned.

Theravādin: Does this mean that this state is Nibbāna, the Shelter, etc.? You deny. Then are both similarly described as unconditioned? You affirm? Then are there two unconditioneds… two Nibbānas?…

Are there any who attain to Cessation, acquire it, cause it to rise, to keep rising, set up, induce, produce, bring to pass, make to be born, to happen? If so, can you so speak of the unconditioned? Of course not… .

Is there apparent such a thing as a purging through, emerging from, Cessation? If so, is there the same from the unconditioned? Of course not… .

In attaining Cessation, first speech, then action, then consciousness ceases. Can you so speak of attaining the unconditioned?

In emerging from Cessation, first consciousness, then action, then speech occurs. Can you so speak of emerging from the unconditioned?

After emerging from Cessation, one is in touch with three contacts: that of the void, of the signless, of the desireless. Can you so speak of emerging from the unconditioned? Or that, when one emerges from Cessation, consciousness is inclined for, tends to, takes shelter in solitude?

Andhakas and Uttarapāthakas: If we are wrong, we would just ask you, Is Cessation conditioned? No, you say; then it must be unconditioned.