Saturday, June 16, 2007

What is nirvana ?

I just found an article at Howstuffworks about nirvana. It 's an attempt to explain to lay (western) people what nirvana is. I found that the writer is quite informed of what he wrote, nevertheless, my feeling is that his explanation contains a lot of errors. I 'll try to explain my understanding instead here.

Nirvana is a state that certain developed minds can perceive. It 's not a state that can be comprehended by lay people.

Mind consists of several emotions mixed into one, every moment (and that it never sit still, mixed of emotions vary all the time). Whenever the so called path of mind, that occurs much like twinkle light, on and off at very fast pace, are without 3 of the emotions (I use emotion to roughly represent Jetasic or Chetacic: I m not sure how Pali scholars officially spell this work in Roman characters), then the paths of mind could perceive that state. It could be done during a deep concentration, or deep meditation, to the level of Jana state.

I 'll give an analogy. Suppose you have a gardening tool in your home that you daily use. You did not realize that your parents borrowed it from your neighbor so you have enjoyed using it for several years. After you know later that it 's not yours, then you simply and promptly stop using it and walked over to the neighbor and returned it right away. Nirvana is like that. After one realizes that the body and the mind (or soul) are not actually yours, they are just like other entities of the Universe, the selfness that lay people keep in their feeling are just illusion, they then quit holding of the 3 emotions (desire, anger, illusion). The result is then total hapiness, if actually there is no "you", then there is no one to receive suffering, and one does not crave for things since there is no desire left. The Enlightened one (Buddha) and his Arahants have no such 3 emotions, so when they physically die later, the path of mind spheres stop after death, and there is no reincarnation, since there is no longer lingering desire to be born again.

I am still a low-level student of abhidhamma (Buddhist Metaphysics), and that is the best I could explain this concept.

1 comment:

nae said...

Nivarna is a state of citta without desire[attachment],aversion, and ignorance.It is totally inner happiness from inside out.Nivarna is presented everywhere, every time. But layman citta isn't pure enough to preceive it.