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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about Nirvana in Buddhism. For other uses, see Nirvana disambiguation. See also: Samsara Buddhism and Rebirth Buddhism. Main article: Four stages of enlightenment. See also: Bodhisattva and Buddhahood. See also: Trikaya. See also: Buddha-nature. In later Buddhism, the origin of this metaphor was forgotten, and the term was replaced with "the three poisons.

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Emancipation, release, or liberation. The Sanskrit words vimukti, mukti, and moksha also have the same meaning. Vimoksha means release from the bonds of earthly desires, delusion, suffering, and transmigration. While Buddhism sets forth various kinds and stages of emancipation, or enlightenment, the supreme emancipation is nirvana, a state of perfect quietude, freedom, and deliverance. In verse 21 and 22, it is stated that consciousness comes into the mother's womb, and finds a resting place in mind-and-body.

In Visuddhimagga, Ch. The first stage indicates a level of understanding or ethical conduct for non-Buddhists, and the second two stages are nirvana and Buddhahood. Pabongka Rinpoche: "The subject matter of these teachings can be included in the various paths of the three scopes. The small scope covers the causes to achieve the high rebirth states of the gods and humans: the ethics of abandoning the ten nonvirtues, etc.

The medium scope includes the practices that will cause one to gain the definite excellence of liberation— such practices as abandoning [the first two of the] four truths, engaging in [the last two of these truths], and the practice of the three high trainings. The great scope contains the practices that bring about the definite excellence of omniscience— such practices as the development of bodhichitta, the six perfections, etc.

Hence, all this subject matter forms a harmonious practice that will take a person to enlightenment and should be understood as being completely without contradiction.

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Walpola Rahula: "We must not confuse Hinayana with Theravada because the terms are not synonymous. Hinayana sects developed in India and had an existence independent from the form of Buddhism existing in Sri Lanka. Today there is no Hinayana sect in existence anywhere in the world. Therefore, in the World Fellowship of Buddhists inaugurated in Colombo unanimously decided that the term Hinayana should be dropped when referring to Buddhism existing today in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma, Cambodia, Laos, etc.

This is the brief history of Theravada, Mahayana and Hinayana. And again, insight should be understood as the three contemplations of impermanence , pain and not-self [see tilakkhana ]; not contemplation of impermanence alone". It is the very first paragraph of the Visuddhimagga and states: "When a wise man, established well in virtue, develops consciousness and understanding, then as a bhikku ardent and sagacious, he succeeds in disentangling this tangle.

I, verse 2, Buddhaghosa comments that this tangle refers to "the network of craving. Yet, it is a word about which Buddhists themselves have never reached agreement. Technically, in the religious traditions of India, the term denotes the process of accomplishing and experiencing freedom from the unquenchable thirst of desire and the pains of repeated births, lives, and deaths.

Originally nirvana and bodhi refer to the same thing; they merely use different metaphors for the experience. But the Mahayana tradition separated them and considered that nirvana referred only to the extinction of craving, with the resultant escape from the cycle of rebirth. This interpretation ignores the third fire, delusion: the extinction of delusion is of course in the early texts identical with what can be positively expressed as gnosis, Enlightenment.

What the Pali and Sanskrit expression primarily indicates is the event or process of the extinction of the 'fires' of greed, aversion, and delusion. At the moment the Buddha understood suffering, its arising, its cessation, and the path leading to its cessation, these fires were extinguished.


This is not a 'thing' but an event or experience. That, in a nutshell, is what nirvana is. It is the complete and permanent cessation of samsara, thence the cessation of all types of suffering, resulting from letting-go the forces which power samsara, due to overcoming ignorance thence also hatred and delusion, the 'three root poisons' through seeing things the way they really are. The first is called 'nirvana with remainder.

Dhammapada Verses 183-185: The Teaching of the Buddhas

On the contrary he or she continues to live in the world; he or she continues to think, speak, and act as other people do—with the difference that all his or her thoughts, words, and deeds are completely free of the motivations of greed, aversion, and delusion, and motivated instead entirely by generosity, friendliness, and wisdom. Negative mental states and emotions such as doubt, worry, anxiety, and fear are absent from the enlightened mind.

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  6. Saints in many religious traditions exhibit some or all of these qualities, and ordinary people also possess them to some degree, although imperfectly developed. An enlightened person, however, such as a Buddha or an Arhat, possesses them all completely. Thus, when there is cessation, your mind no longer burns in response to the arising of pleasant and unpleasant in your life; it isn't reactive or controlled by what you like or dislike.

    The way such a person sees things will be nondualistic and therefore non-conceptual. We see clearly, and nothing seems imposing, since nothing is imposed from our part. When there is nothing we do not like, there is nothing to fear. Being free from fear, we are peaceful. There is no need to run away from anything, and therefore no need to run after anything either. In this way there is no burden. We can have inner peace, strength, and clarity, almost independent from circumstances and situations.

    This is complete freedom of mind without any circumstantial entanglement; the state is called "nirvana" [ Someone who has reached this state has gone beyond our usual way of being imprisoned in habitual patterns and distorted ways of seeing these things.

    The only accurate statement that can be made about nirvana-after-death is "That which is stressful dukkha ; suffering has ceased and gone to its end. The sutra concludes: "Any fire burning dependent on a sustenance of grass and timber, being unnourished — from having consumed that sustenance and not being offered any other — is classified simply as 'out' unbound. Even so [ Freed from the classification of form [ It is therefore beyond our conceptions of good and evil, right and wrong, existence and non-existence.

    Instead it must mean a knowing of a primordial, transcendent nature, otherwise the passage which contains it would be self-contradictory. These goals are, however, inferior and should be renounced for the superior attainment of buddhahood. When referring to a buddha, nirvana is the great nondwelling state of enlightenment which falls neither into the extreme of samsaric existence nor into the passive state of cessation attained by an arhant.

    The Great Vehicle, however, does result in becoming a complete buddha. A buddha remains actively engaged in enlightened activity to liberate beings for as long as samsara remains. Thus, those who accomplish the Great Vehicle do not abide in samsara due to their wisdom that sees its empty, illusory nature.

    Further, unlike those who attain the nirvana of the Lesser Vehicle to escape samsara, they do not abide in an isolated nirvana due to their compassion. Similarly, a consciousness conceiving inherent existence , like garlic, deposits predispositions in the mind that produce the appearance of inherent existence; Thus,there is no way to cleanse the mind of those predispositions, which are like the flavor of garlic left in the vessel of the mind,until one removes all consciousnesses conceiving of inherent existence from the mind.

    First, the garlic must be removed; then, its odor can be removed. For this reason, according to the Consequence School , until one has utterly removed all the afflictive obstructions , one cannot begin to remove the obstructions to omniscience. Since this is the case, a practitioner cannot begin overcoming the obstructions to omniscience on any of the seven first bodhisattva grounds , which are called "impure" because one still has afflictive obstructions to be abandoned.

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    Rather, one begins abandoning the obstructions to omniscience on the eighth bodhisattva ground, and continues to do so on the ninth and tenth, these three being called the 'three pure grounds" because the afflictive obstructions have been abandoned. In the 19th century, "experience" came to be seen as a means to "prove" religious "realities". Herbert V. Guenther trans.

    Nirvana and Other Buddhist Felicities. Cambridge University Press. Linguistic Approach to Buddhist Thought.


    Motilal Banarsidass. The Notion of Emptiness in Early Buddhism. Understanding Eastern Philosophy. Awareness Bound and Unbound: Buddhist Essays. State University of New York Press. Theosophy Or Psychological Religion. Deprived of fuel, the fire goes out, and this is nirvana.. The conditioned genesis of the early teachings.

    Second edition, Routledge, p.

    Nirvana (Buddhism)

    Cambridge University Press, , pages Exploring Buddhism. Religion and Anthropology: A Critical Introduction. According to Buddhist doctrine, the individual person consists of five skandhas or heaps - the body, feelings, perceptions, impulses and consciousness. The belief in a self or soul, over these five skandhas, is illusory and the cause of suffering. Theravada Buddhism.

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    Buddha's teaching that beings have no soul, no abiding essence. This 'no-soul doctrine' anatta-vada he expounded in his second sermon. Manchester University Press. Buddhism: Beliefs and Practices. Sussex Academic Press. Thus, for example, the "stream-enterer" is the fruit for one on the "stream-entry" path; more specifically, the stream-enterer has abandoned the first three fetters, while one on the path of stream-entry strives to abandon these fetters.

    What distinguishes these stages is that the once-returner additionally attenuates lust, hate and delusion, and will necessarily be reborn only once more. Buswell Jr. Lopez Jr. Knowing that he had the support of King Ajatashatru, and thinking that the Buddha was now old and incapable of resistance, Devadatta went to the assembly of the monks and said that it was time for the old man to find peace by retiring to the forest, leaving Devadatta in charge.