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Aug 20th
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Home Teachings Nibbana

Nibbana

What is Nibbana

BY BHIKKHU PESALA

Preface

Nibbāna is extremely subtle and hard to describe. It is not a place like heaven or paradise. The Arahants and Buddhas do not "enter" nibbāna when they die. Nibbāna is not annihilation of the self, since the so-called 'self' does not exist — though attaining nibbāna entails the annihilation of egoism. It is blissful, but there is no feeling associated with it. In fact, because there is no feeling in nibbāna it is truly peaceful. Only Noble Ones can know what nibbāna is really like, but we can understand fairly well by inference and constant practise of insight meditation.

The more we understand what suffering is, the better we can appreciate the value of nibbāna, which is the end of suffering. For example, if you burn your hand it is very painful for some time afterwards. However, when the burn heals you don't feel the pain any more. The absence of pain is a subtle kind of happiness; because there is no pain there now, you feel at ease.

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