Wednesday, August 21, 2019

1: Describing NIRVANA (sutra)

John D. Ireland (trans.), Ven. Thanissaro (trans.), Nibbāna Sutta: Blowing Out (1) ("Inspired Utterances," Udana 80), edited by Dhr. Seven, Amber Larson, Wisdom Quarterly
Enlightenment: "Light arose, knowledge arose" (Turning the Wheel of the Dharma Sutra).
Buddha Maitreya thangka (
Thus have I heard. At one time the [Buddha] was staying near Savatthi in Jeta Wood at Anathapindika's monastery.

On that occasion the [Buddha] was instructing, rousing, inspiring, and gladdening meditators with a Dharma talk connected with nirvana. And those meditators, being receptive and attentive and concentrating the whole mind, were intent on listening to Dharma.

Then on realizing its significance, the [Buddha] proclaimed on that occasion this inspired utterance:

There is, meditators, that base where there is no earth, no water, no fire, no air, no base consisting of boundless space, no base consisting of boundless consciousness, no base consisting of nothingness, no base consisting of neither-perception-nor-non-perception, neither this world nor another world nor both, neither sun nor moon.

Here, meditators, I say there is no coming, no going, no staying, no ceasing, no arising. Not fixed, not movable, it has no support. Just this is the end of all suffering.

Describing Nirvana
Buddha, Gandhara art 3rd cent (TZG)
Thus have I heard. At one time the Blessed One (the Buddha) was staying near Savatthi in Jeta's Grove in Anathapindika's monastery.

On that occasion the Blessed One was instructing, urging, rousing, and encouraging meditators with Dharma-talk concerned with nirvana.

The monastics -- receptive, attentive, focusing their undivided attention, lending ear -- listened to the Dharma. Then on realizing the significance of this, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:

There is that sphere, meditators, where there is neither earth, nor water, nor fire, nor wind, neither the sphere of boundless space, nor the sphere of boundless consciousness, nor the sphere of nothingness, nor the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception.

There is neither this world, nor the next world, nor sun, nor moon. There, I declare, there is neither coming, nor going, nor staying, neither passing away, nor arising: unestablished,* not becoming, without support [of mental object].** This, just this, is the end of all suffering.
  • *See SN 22.87 and the discussion in The Paradox of Becoming, Chapter 7
  • **See SN 22.53

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