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Definition of the Week (9) – Nirvana

Nirvana (Gone beyond suffering; transcendence of suffering; left suffering behind)

Definition:
An analytical cessation that has completely abandoned the afflictive obscurations.

“Analytical cessation” because it is a cessation that is achieved through analysis of the four noble truths.

Nominal fourfold division of nirvana into:

  1. Nirvana with remainder: Def.: Hinayana nirvana with a remainder of suffering aggregates. E.g., nirvana of an arhat belonging to one of the three realms.
  2. Nirvana without remainder: Hinayana nirvana without a remainder of suffering aggregates. E.g., nirvana of an arhat belonging to one of the pure realms.
  3. Natural nirvana: Emptiness of all phenomena. “Natural” because all phenomena are naturally liberated from inherent existence.
  4. Non-abiding nirvana: Analytical cessation free from the two obscurations. Synonymous with the truth of cessation in the continuum of a buddha.

“Non-abiding” because of not abiding in the extremes of existence and peace. Non abiding in the two extremes, but always abiding in meditative equipoise on emptiness, even while walking, eating or drinking.