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{{About|the Pali and Sanskrit term which refers to the concept|the religious concept in Buddhism|Nirvana (Buddhism)|the American rock band|Nirvana (band)|other uses}}{{use dmy dates|date=April 2016}}{{Use Indian English|date=April 2016}}{{Buddhist term|title = Nirvana|en = liberation, salvation|pi = निब्बान|pi-Latn = nibbāna
නිර්වාණ)|si-Latn = nivana|sa = निर्वाण |sa-Latn = nirvāṇa|vi = niết bàn|zh = 涅槃|zh-Latn = nièpán|id = nirwana |mn = Нирваан дүр|mn-Latn = nirvaan dür|mr = निर्वाण|mnw = နဳဗာန်|mnw-Latn= nìppàn|my = နိဗ္ဗာန်|my-Latn = neɪʔbàɴ|ja = 涅槃|ja-Latn = nehan|km = និព្វាន|km-Latn = nippean|ko = 열반|ko-Latn = yeolban|shn = ၼိၵ်ႈပၢၼ်ႇ|shn-Latn= nik3paan2|th = นิพพาน|th-Latn = nipphan|bo = མྱ་ངན་ལས་འདས་པ།|bo-Latn = mya ngan las 'das pa}}

File:Photo of lord adinath bhagwan at kundalpur.JPG|thumb|250px|Rishabhanatha, believed to have lived over a million years ago, was the first TirthankaraTirthankara{{IAST|Nirvāṇa}} ({{IPAc-en|n|ɪər|ˈ|v|ɑː|n|ə}} {{respell|neer|VAH|nə}}, {{IPAc-en|-|ˈ|v|æ|n|ə}} {{respell|-VAN|ə}}, {{IPAc-en|n|ɜːr|-}} {{respell|nur-}};"nirvana". Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary. nirvāṇa {{IPA-sa|nirʋaːɳə|}}; nibbāna; ṇivvāṇa, literally "blown out", as in an oil lampRichard Gombrich, Theravada Buddhism: A Social History from Ancient Benāres to Modern Colombo. Routledge) is commonly associated with Jainism and Buddhism, and represents its ultimate state of soteriological release, the liberation from repeated rebirth in saṃsāra.BOOK, Chad Meister, Introducing Philosophy of Religion,weblink 2009, Routledge, 978-1-134-14179-1, 25, Buddhism: the soteriological goal is nirvana, liberation from the wheel of samsara and extinction of all desires, cravings and suffering., Donald S. lopez Jr., Nirvana, Encyclopædia BritannicaBOOK, Kristin Johnston Largen, What Christians Can Learn from Buddhism: Rethinking Salvation,weblink Fortress Press, 978-1-4514-1267-3, 107–108, One important caveat must be noted: for many lay Buddhists all over the world, rebirth in a higher realm - rather than realizing nirvana - has been the primary religious goal. [...] while many Buddhists strongly emphasize the soteriological value of the Buddha's teaching on nirvana [escape from samsara], many other Buddhists focus their practice on more tangible goals, in particular on the propitious rebirth in one's next life., In Indian religions, nirvana is synonymous with moksha and mukti.{{refn|group=note|Also called vimoksha, vimukti. The Soka Gakkai Dictionary of Buddhism: "Vimoksha [解脱] (Skt; Jpn gedatsu). 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,WEB, IN THE PRESENCE OF NIBBANA:Developing Faith in the Buddhist Path to Enlightenment,weblink, 22 October 2014, WEB,weblink The Soka Gakkai Dictionary of Buddhism, vimoksha, 17 February 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 22 February 2014, yes, dmy-all, }} All Indian religions assert it to be a state of perfect quietude, freedom, highest happiness as well as the liberation from or ending of samsara, the repeating cycle of birth, life and death.Gavin Flood, Nirvana. In: John Bowker (ed.), Oxford Dictionary of World ReligionsBOOK, Anindita N. Balslev, On World Religions: Diversity, Not Dissension,weblink 2014, SAGE Publications, 978-93-5150-405-4, 28–29, However, Buddhist and non-Buddhist traditions describe these terms for liberation differently.JOURNAL, Loy, David, Enlightenment in Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta, International Philosophical Quarterly, Philosophy Documentation Center, 22, 1, 1982, 65–74, 10.5840/ipq19822217, What most distinguishes Indian from Western philosophy is that all the important Indian systems point to the same phenomenon: Enlightenment or Liberation. Enlightenment has different names in the various systems – kaivalya, nirvana, moksha, etc. – and is described in different ways..., In the Buddhist context, nirvana refers to realization of non-self and emptiness, marking the end of rebirth by stilling the fires that keep the process of rebirth going.BOOK, Steven Collins, Selfless Persons: Imagery and Thought in Theravada Buddhism,weblink 1990, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-39726-1, 81–84, BOOK, Peter Harvey, Buddhism,weblink 2001, Bloomsbury Academic, 978-1-4411-4726-4, 98–99, [Nirvana is] beyond the processes involved in dying and reborn. [...] Nirvana is emptiness in being void of any grounds for the delusion of a permanent, substantial Self, and because it cannot be conceptualized in any view which links it to 'I' or 'mine' or 'Self'. It is known in this respect by one with deep insight into everything as not-Self (anatta), empty of Self., In Hindu philosophy, it is the union of or the realization of the identity of Atman with Brahman, depending on the Hindu tradition.BOOK, Brian Morris, Religion and Anthropology: A Critical Introduction,weblink 2006, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-85241-8, 51, There has been some dispute as to the exact meaning of nirvana, but clearly the Buddhist theory of no soul seems to imply quite a different perspective from that of Vedantist philosophy, in which the individual soul or self [atman] is seen as identical with the world soul or Brahman [god] (on the doctrine of anatta[no soul] ..., BOOK, Gwinyai H. Muzorewa, The Great Being,weblink 2000, Wipf, 978-1-57910-453-5, 52–54, Even the Atman depends on the Brahman. In fact, the two are essentially the same. [...] Hindu theology believes that the Atman ultimately becomes one with the Brahman. One's true identity lies in realizing that the Atman in me and the Brahman - the groud of all existence - are similar. [...] The closest kin of Atman is the Atman of all living things, which is grounded in the Brahman. When the Atman strives to be like Brahman it is only because it realizes that that is its origin - God. [...] Separation between the Atman and the Brahman is proved to be impermanent. What is ultimately permanent is the union between the Atman and the Brahman. [...] Thus, life's struggle is for the Atman to be released from the body, which is impermanent, to unite with Brahman, which is permanent - this doctrine is known as Moksha., {{sfn|Fowler|2012|p=46|ps=: "Shankara interpreted the whole of the Gita as extolling the path of knowledge as the best means to moksha, and a total identity of the atman with Brahman...,}} In Jainism, it is also the soteriological goal, it represents the release of a soul from karmic bondage and samsara.John E. Cort (1990), MODELS OF AND FOR THE STUDY OF THE JAINS, Method & Theory in the Study of Religion, Vol. 2, No. 1, Brill Academic, pages 42-71


The word nirvāṇa, states Steven Collins, is from the verbal root vā "blow" in the form of past participle vāna "blown", prefixed with the preverb nis meaning "out". Hence the original meaning of the word is "blown out, extinguished". Sandhi changes the sounds: the v of vāna causes nis to become nir, and then the r of nir causes retroflexion of the following n: nis+vāna > nirvāṇa.{{sfn|Collins|2010|pp=63-64}}The term nirvana in the soteriological sense of "blown out, extinguished" state of liberation does not appear in the Vedas nor in the Upanishads. According to Collins, "the Buddhists seem to have been the first to call it nirvana."BOOK, Steven Collins, Nirvana and Other Buddhist Felicities,weblink 1998, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-57054-1, 137–138, However, the ideas of spiritual liberation using different terminology, with the concept of soul and Brahman, appears in Vedic texts and Upanishads, such as in verse 4.4.6 of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad.BOOK, Max Müller, Theosophy Or Psychological Religion,weblink 2011, Cambridge University Press, 978-1-108-07326-4, 307–310, This may have been deliberate use of words in early Buddhism, suggests Collins, since Atman and Brahman were described in Vedic texts and Upanishads with the imagery of fire, as something good, desirable and liberating.BOOK, Steven Collins, Nirvana and Other Buddhist Felicities,weblink 1998, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-57054-1, 216–217,


Nirvāṇa is a term found in the texts of all major Indian religions – Buddhism,{{Sfn|Trainor|2004|p=68}} Hinduism,{{sfn|Fowler|2012|p=48}} JainismBOOK, Helmuth von Glasenapp, Jainism: An Indian Religion of Salvation,weblink 1999, Motilal Banarsidass, 978-81-208-1376-2, 234, 492, and Sikhism.BOOK, Sikhism And Indian Civilization By R.K. Pruthi, 2004, 200,weblink BOOK, World History: To 1800 By William J. Duiker, Jackson J. Spielvogel, 2008, 52, 53,weblink It refers to the profound peace of mind that is acquired with moksha, liberation from samsara, or release from a state of suffering, after respective spiritual practice or sādhanā.{{refn|group=note|It is sometimes referred to as bhavana, which refers to spiritual "development" or "cultivating" or "producing"Rhys Davids & Stede (1921-25), p. 503, entry for "Bhāvanā," retrieved 9 Dec 2008 from "U. Chicago" atweblink{{dead link|date=June 2017 |bot=InternetArchiveBot |fix-attempted=yes }}.Monier-Williams (1899), p. 755, see "Bhāvana" and "Bhāvanā," retrieved 9 Dec 2008 from "U. Cologne" atweblink in the sense of "calling into existence",{{sfn|Nyanatiloka|1980|p=67}}}}The idea of moksha is connected to the Vedic culture, where it conveyed a notion of amrtam, "immortality",{{sfn|Collins|2010|p=29}}{{sfn|Collins|1998|p=136}} and also a notion of a timeless, "unborn", or "the still point of the turning world of time". It was also its timeless structure, the whole underlying "the spokes of the invariable but incessant wheel of time".{{refn|group=note|The wheel is a typical Vedic, or Indo-European, symbol, which is manifested in various symbols of the Vedic religion and of Buddhism and Hinduism. See, for examples, Dharmacakra, Chakra, Chakravartin, Kalachakra, Dukkha and Mandala.}} The hope for life after death started with notions of going to the worlds of the Fathers or Ancestors and/or the world of the Gods or Heaven.{{sfn|Collins|2010|p=29}}{{refn|group=note|See also Heaven (Christianity) and Walhalla}}The earliest Vedic texts incorporate the concept of life, followed by an afterlife in heaven and hell based on cumulative virtues (merit) or vices (demerit).BOOK, James Hastings, John Alexander Selbie, Louis Herbert Gray, Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics,weblink 1922, T. & T. Clark, 616–618, However, the ancient Vedic Rishis challenged this idea of afterlife as simplistic, because people do not live an equally moral or immoral life. Between generally virtuous lives, some are more virtuous; while evil too has degrees, and either permanent heaven or permanent hell is disproportionate. The Vedic thinkers introduced the idea of an afterlife in heaven or hell in proportion to one's merit, and when this runs out, one returns and is reborn.{{Sfn|Frazier|2011|pp=84-86}}BOOK, Atsushi Hayakawa, Circulation of Fire in the Veda,weblink 2014, LIT Verlag Münster, 978-3-643-90472-0, 101–103 with footnote 262, The concept of punarmrtyu appeared, which conveys that even those who participated in rituals die again in the life after death when the merit of the ritual runs out., BOOK, Krishan, Yuvraj, The Doctrine of Karma: Its Origin and Development in Brāhmaṇical, Buddhist, and Jaina Traditions, 1997, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, 9788120812338, 17–27,weblink ;BOOK, The New Encyclopædia Britannica,weblink Volume 8, 1998, Encyclopædia Britannica, 978-0-85229-633-2, 533, [These Upanishadic texts] record the traditions of sages (Rishis) of the period, notably Yajnavalkya, who was a pioneer of new religious ideas. [...] Throughout the Vedic period, the idea that the world of heaven was not the end – and that even in heaven death was inevitable – had been growing. [...] This doctrine of samsara (reincarnation) is attributed to sage Uddalaka Aruni, [...] In the same text, the doctrine of karma (actions) is attributed to Yajnavalkya..., The idea of rebirth following "running out of merit" appears in Buddhist texts as well.BOOK, Patrul Rinpoche, The Words of My Perfect Teacher, 1998, Shambhala, Boston, 978-0-7619-9027-7, 95–96,weblinkweblink After enjoying the happiness of a celestial realm, when his merit runs out he will be reborn here., This idea appears in many ancient and medieval texts, as Saṃsāra, or the endless cycle of life, death, rebirth and redeath, such as section 6:31 of the Mahabharata{{Sfn|Frazier|2011|pp=84-86, Quote: "They reach the holy world of Indra and enjoy the celestial pleasures of the gods in heaven; but having enjoyed the vast world of heaven, they come back to the world of mortals when their merit runs out. So, by following the injunctions of the three Vedas with a desire for pleasures, they get to travel to and fro. (Mahābhārata 6.31:20–1)"}} and verse 9.21 of the Bhagavad Gita.BOOK, Winthrop Sargeant (Translator), Christopher Key Chapple, The Bhagavad Gita: Twenty-fifth–Anniversary Edition,weblink 2010, State University of New York Press, 978-1-4384-2840-6, 397, Having enjoyed the vast world of heaven, they enter the world of mortals when their merit is exhausted. Thus conforming to the law of the three Vedas, Desiring enjoyments, they obtain the state of going and returning., Yuvraj Krishan (1988), Is Karma Evolutionary?, Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research, Volume 6, pages 24-26{{Refn|Many texts discuss this theory of rebirth with the concepts of Devayana (path of gods) and Pitryana (path of fathers).BOOK, Surendranath Dasgupta, A history of indian philosophy,weblink 1956, Cambridge University Press, 520–522, BOOK, Paul Deussen, The System of the Vedanta: According to Badarayana's Brahma-Sutras and Shankara's Commentary thereon,weblink 2015, KB Classics, 978-1-5191-1778-6, 357–359, |group=note}} The Saṃsara, the life after death, and what impacts rebirth came to be seen as dependent on karma.{{sfn|Collins|2010|p=30}}The liberation from Saṃsāra developed as an ultimate goal and soteriological value in the Indian culture, and called by different terms such as nirvana, moksha, mukti and kaivalya. This basic scheme underlies Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism, where "the ultimate aim is the timeless state of moksa, or, as the Buddhists first seem to have called it, nirvana."{{sfn|Collins|2010|p=31}}Although the term occurs in the literatures of a number of ancient Indian traditions, the concept is most commonly associated with Buddhism. It was later adopted by other Indian religions, but with different meanings and description (Moksha), such as in the Hindu text Bhagavad Gita of the Mahabharata.{{sfn|Fowler|2012|p=48}}


File:Gautama Buddha gains nirvana.jpg|thumb|right|275px|Khmer traditional mural painting depicts Gautama Buddha entering nirvana, Dharma assembly pavilion, Wat Botum Wattey Reacheveraram, Phnom Penh, CambodiaCambodiaNirvana (nibbana) literally means "blowing out" or "quenching".BOOK, Steven Collins, Nirvana and Other Buddhist Felicities,weblink 1998, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-57054-1, 191, It is the most used as well as the earliest term to describe the soteriological goal in Buddhism: release from the cycle of rebirth (saṃsāra).{{sfn|Buswell|Lopez|2014|pp=589-590}} Nirvana is part of the Third Truth on "cessation of dukkha" in the Four Noble Truths doctrine of Buddhism.{{sfn|Buswell|Lopez|2014|pp=589-590}} It is the goal of the Noble Eightfold Path.{{Sfn|Keown|2004|pp=194-195}}The Buddha is believed in the Buddhist scholastic tradition to have realized two types of nirvana, one at enlightenment, and another at his death.{{sfn|Buswell|Lopez|2014|p=590}} The first is called sopadhishesa-nirvana (nirvana with a remainder), the second parinirvana or anupadhishesa-nirvana (nirvana without remainder, or final nirvana).{{sfn|Buswell|Lopez|2014|p=590}}In the Buddhist tradition, nirvana is described as the extinguishing of the fires that cause rebirths and associated suffering.WEB, nirvana,weblink Encyclopædia Britannica, 22 October 2014, The Buddhist texts identify these three "three fires"{{sfn|Gombrich|2006|p=65}} or "three poisons" as raga (greed, sensuality), dvesha (aversion, hate) and avidyā or moha (ignorance, delusion).{{sfn|Gombrich|2006|p=66}}{{sfn|Buswell|Lopez|2014|p=589}}The state of nirvana is also described in Buddhism as cessation of all afflictions, cessation of all actions, cessation of rebirths and suffering that are a consequence of afflictions and actions.{{sfn|Buswell|Lopez|2014|pp=589-590}} Liberation is described as identical to anatta (anatman, non-self, lack of any self).BOOK, Steven Collins, Selfless Persons: Imagery and Thought in Theravada Buddhism,weblink 1990, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-39726-1, 82, 84, Like all other things or concepts (dhammā) it is anattā, 'not-self. Whereas all 'conditioned things' (samkhāra - that is, all things produced by karma) are 'unsatisfactory and impermanent' (sabbe samkhāra dukkhā . . . aniccā) all dhammā whatsoever, whether conditioned things or the unconditioned nibbāna, are 'not-self (sabbe dhammā anattā). [...] The absolute indescribability of nirvana, along with its classification as anattā, 'not-self, has helped to keep the separation intact, precisely because of the impossibility of mutual discourse., BOOK, Sue Hamilton, Early Buddhism: A New Approach : the I of the Beholder,weblink 2000, Routledge, 978-0-7007-1280-9, 18–21, Quote: "The corrected interpretation they offered, widely accepted to his day, still associated anatta with nirvana. What it means, it was now states, is that in order to achieve liberation you need to understand that you are not, and nor do you have, and nor have you ever been or had, an abiding self." In Buddhism, liberation is achieved when all things and beings are understood to be with no Self.BOOK, Paul Williams, Anthony Tribe, Buddhist Thought,weblink 2000, Routledge, 978-0-415-20701-0, 61, He makes no mention of discovering the True Self in the Anattalakkhana Sutta. As we have seen, the Buddha explains how liberation comes from letting-go of all craving and attachment simply through seeing that things are not Self anatta. That is all there is to it. One cuts the force that leads to rebirth and suffering. There is no need to postulate a Self beyond all this. Indeed any postulated Self would lead to attachment, for it seems that for the Buddha a Self fitting the description could legitimately be a suitable subject of attachment. There is absolutely no suggestion that the Buddha thought there is some additional factor called the Self (or with any other name, but fitting the Self-description) beyond the five aggregates., Nirvana is also described as identical to achieving sunyata (emptiness), where there is no essence or fundamental nature in anything, and everything is empty.BOOK, Mun-Keat Choong, The Notion of Emptiness in Early Buddhism,weblink 1999, Motilal Banarsidass, 978-81-208-1649-7, 1–4, 85–88, Emptiness is a characteristically Buddhist teaching. The present study is concerned with this teaching of emptiness (P. sunnata, Skt. sunyata) as presented in the texts of early Buddhism. [...] The teaching of emptiness is recognized as the central philosophy of early Mahayana. However, this teaching exists in both early Buddhism and early Mahayana Buddhism, where it is connected with the meaning of conditioned genesis, the middle way, nirvana and not-self (P. anatta, Skt. anatman)., ,BOOK, Ray Billington, Understanding Eastern Philosophy,weblink 2002, Routledge, 978-1-134-79348-8, 58–60, 136, , Quote (p 59-60): "We may better understand what anatman implies if we examine Nagarjuna's concept of the void: shunyata or emptiness. Nagarjuna argued that there is no such thing as the fundamental nature, or essence, of anything. (...) In a word, all is emptiness, shunyata; instead of essence, there is a void. (...) everything is empty."; Quote (p 136): "What we can say, whichever branch of Buddhism we may have in mind, is that the state of nirvana, to which all Buddhists aspire, is like samadhi, a non-dual state. (...) the Buddhist concept of enlightened mind - bodhichitta - refers to a state beyond desire (dukkha) whereby the one who seeks nirvana has achieved shunyata, the emptiness or void described on pages 58-9."In time, with the development of Buddhist doctrine, other interpretations were given, such as being an unconditioned state,BOOK, John J. Makransky, Buddhahood Embodied: Sources of Controversy in India and Tibet,weblink 1997, State University of New York Press, 978-0-7914-3431-4, 85, a fire going out for lack of fuel, abandoning weaving (vana) together of life after life,{{sfn|Collins|2010|pp=63-64}} and the elimination of desire.BOOK, Charles S. Prebish, Buddhism: A Modern Perspective,weblink 2010, Penn State Press, 0-271-03803-9, 134–135, However, Buddhist texts have asserted since ancient times that nirvana is more than "destruction of desire", it is "the object of the knowledge" of the Buddhist path.{{sfn|Collins|2010|p=54}}


The most ancient texts of Hinduism such as the Vedas and early Upanishads don't mention the soteriological term Nirvana.{{sfn|Fowler|2012|p=48}} This term is found in texts such as the Bhagavad Gita{{sfn|Fowler|2012|p=48}} and the Nirvana Upanishad, likely composed in the post-Buddha era.{{sfn|Olivelle|1992|pp= 5–9, 227-235, Quote: "Nirvana Upanishad..."}} The concept of Nirvana is described differently in Buddhist and Hindu literature.{{sfn|Fowler|2012|pp=48-49}} Hinduism has the concept of Atman – the soul, selfWEB, Atman (in Oxford Dictionaries),weblink Oxford University Press, 2012, Quote: 1. real self of the individual; 2. a person's soul, BOOK, Constance Jones, James D. Ryan, Encyclopedia of Hinduism,weblink 2006, Infobase, 978-0-8160-7564-5, 51, ; Quote: The atman is the self or soul.BOOK, David Lorenzen, Mittal, Sushil, Thursby, Gene, The Hindu World, 2004, Routledge, 9781134608751, 208–209, Advaita and nirguni movements, on the other hand, stress an interior mysticism in which the devotee seeks to discover the identity of individual soul (atman) with the universal ground of being (brahman) or to find god within himself., – asserted to exist in every living being, while Buddhism asserts through its anatman doctrine that there is no Atman in any being.[a] Anatta, Encyclopædia Britannica (2013), Quote: "Anatta in Buddhism, the doctrine that there is in humans no permanent, underlying soul. The concept of anatta, or anatman, is a departure from the Hindu belief in atman ("the self").";[b] Steven Collins (1994), Religion and Practical Reason (Editors: Frank Reynolds, David Tracy), State Univ of New York Press, {{ISBN|978-0791422175}}, page 64; "Central to Buddhist soteriology is the doctrine of not-self (Pali: anattā, Sanskrit: anātman, the opposed doctrine of ātman is central to Brahmanical thought). Put very briefly, this is the [Buddhist] doctrine that human beings have no soul, no self, no unchanging essence.";[c] John C. Plott et al (2000), Global History of Philosophy: The Axial Age, Volume 1, Motilal Banarsidass, {{ISBN|978-8120801585}}, page 63, Quote: "The Buddhist schools reject any Ātman concept. As we have already observed, this is the basic and ineradicable distinction between Hinduism and Buddhism";[d] Katie Javanaud (2013), Is The Buddhist ‘No-Self’ Doctrine Compatible With Pursuing Nirvana?, Philosophy Now;[e] David Loy (1982), Enlightenment in Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta: Are Nirvana and Moksha the Same?, International Philosophical Quarterly, Volume 23, Issue 1, pages 65-74[a] BOOK, Christmas Humphreys, Exploring Buddhism,weblink 2012, Routledge, 978-1-136-22877-3, 42–43, [b] BOOK, Richard Gombrich, Theravada Buddhism,weblink 2006, Routledge, 978-1-134-90352-8, 47, Buddha's teaching that beings have no soul, no abiding essence. This 'no-soul doctrine' (anatta-vada) he expounded in his second sermon., , Nirvana in Buddhism is "stilling mind, cessation of desires, and action" unto emptiness, states Jeaneane Fowler, while nirvana in post-Buddhist Hindu texts is also "stilling mind but not inaction" and "not emptiness", rather it is the knowledge of true Self (Atman) and the acceptance of its universality and unity with metaphysical Brahman.{{sfn|Fowler|2012|pp=48-49}}


The ancient soteriological concept in Hinduism is moksha, described as the liberation from the cycle of birth and death through self-knowledge and the eternal connection of Atman (soul, self) and metaphysical Brahman. Moksha is derived from the root muc* () which means free, let go, release, liberate; Moksha means "liberation, freedom, emancipation of the soul".मुच Monier-Williams Sanskrit English Dictionary, Germany (2008)BOOK, Heinrich Robert Zimmer, Philosophies of India,weblink 1951, Princeton University Press, 0-691-01758-1, 41, Moksa, from the root muc, "to loose, set free, let go, release, liberate, deliver" [...] means "liberation, escape, freedom, release, rescue, deliverance, final emancipation of the soul., In the Vedas and early Upanishads, the word mucyate () appears, which means to be set free or release - such as of a horse from its harness.The traditions within Hinduism state that there are multiple paths (marga) to moksha: jnana-marga, the path of knowledge; bhakti-marga, the path of devotion; and karma-marga, the path of action.BOOK, Chad Meister, Introducing Philosophy of Religion,weblink 2009, Routledge, 978-1-134-14179-1, 25,

Brahma-nirvana in the Bhagavad Gita

The term Brahma-nirvana appears in verses 2.72 and 5.24-26 of the Bhagavad Gita.BOOK, Winthrop Sargeant (Translator), Christopher Key Chapple, The Bhagavad Gita: Twenty-fifth–Anniversary Edition,weblink 2010, State University of New York Press, 978-1-4384-2840-6, 157, 266–268, It is the state of release or liberation; the union with the Brahman. According to Easwaran, it is an experience of blissful egolessness.{{sfn|Easwaran|2007|p=268}}According to Zaehner, Johnson and other scholars, nirvana in the Gita is a Buddhist term adopted by the Hindus.{{sfn|Fowler|2012|p=48}} Zaehner states it was used in Hindu texts for the first time in the Bhagavad Gita, and that the idea therein in verse 2.71-72 to "suppress one's desires and ego" is also Buddhist.{{sfn|Fowler|2012|p=48}} According to Johnson the term nirvana is borrowed from the Buddhists to confuse the Buddhists, by linking the Buddhist nirvana state to the pre-Buddhist Vedic tradition of metaphysical absolute called Brahman.{{sfn|Fowler|2012|p=48}}According to Mahatma Gandhi, the Hindu and Buddhist understanding of nirvana are different because the nirvana of the Buddhists is shunyata, emptiness, but the nirvana of the Gita means peace and that is why it is described as brahma-nirvana (oneness with Brahman).{{Citation|quote=The nirvana of the Buddhists is shunyata, emptiness, but the nirvana of the Gita means peace and that is why it is described as brahma-nirvana [oneness with Brahman]|publisher=North Atlantic Books|year=2009|title=The Bhagavad Gita â€“ According to Gandhi|author=Mahatma Gandhi|editor=John Strohmeier|page=34}}


File:Kalpasutra Mahavira Nirvana.jpg|thumb|right|250px|Kalpasutra folio on Mahavira Nirvana. Note the crescent shaped Siddhashila, a place where all siddhas reside after nirvana.]]The terms moksa and nirvana are often used interchangeably in the Jain texts.BOOK, Jaini, Padmanabh, Collected Papers on Jaina Studies, Motilal Banarsidass Publ., 2000, Delhi, 81-208-1691-9, : "Moksa and Nirvana are synonymous in Jainism". p. 168Michael Carrithers, Caroline Humphrey (1991) The Assembly of listeners: Jains in society Cambridge University Press. {{ISBN|0521365058}}: "Nirvana: A synonym for liberation, release, moksa." p. 297Uttaradhyana Sutra provides an account of Sudharman – also called Gautama, and one of the disciples of Mahavira – explaining the meaning of nirvana to Kesi, a disciple of Parshva.BOOK, Jacobi, Hermann, Ed. F. Max Müller, Uttaradhyayana Sutra, Jain Sutras Part II, Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 45, The Clarendon Press, 1895, Oxford,weblink {{Refn|group=note|The authenticity of this text is in doubt because Parshva, in Jain tradition, lived about 250 years before Mahavira, and his disciple Kesi would have been a few hundred years old when he met the disciple of Mahavira. See Jacobi (1895), footnotes.BOOK, Jacobi, Hermann, Ed. F. Max Müller, Uttaradhyayana Sutra, Jain Sutras Part II, Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 45, The Clarendon Press, 1895, Oxford,weblink }}


The term Nirvana (also mentioned is parinirvana) in the thirteenth or fourtheenth century Manichaean work "The great song to Mani" and "The story of the Death of Mani", referring to the realm of light.Willis Barnstone, Marvin Meyer The Gnostic Bible: Revised and Expanded Edition Shambhala Publications 2009 {{ISBN|978-0-834-82414-0}} page 669


The concept of liberation as "extinction of suffering", along with the idea of sansara as the "cycle of rebirth" is also part of Sikhism.BOOK, William Owen Cole, Piara Singh Sambhi, The Sikhs: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices,weblink 1995, Sussex Academic Press, 978-1-898723-13-4, 68, Nirvana appears in Sikh texts as the term Nirban.BOOK, Arvind-Pal Singh Mandair, Sikhism: A Guide for the Perplexed,weblink 2013, Bloomsbury Academic, 978-1-4411-5366-1, 219–220, BOOK, H. S. Singha, The Encyclopedia of Sikhism,weblink 2000, Hemkunt Press, 978-81-7010-301-1, 148, However, the more common term is Mukti or Moksh,BOOK, W. H. McLeod, The A to Z of Sikhism,weblink 2009, Scarecrow, 978-0-8108-6344-6, 134–, a salvation concept wherein loving devotion to God is emphasized for liberation from endless cycle of rebirths.

See also

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Online references



  • BOOK, harv, Robert E., Buswell, Donald S., Lopez, The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism,weblink 2014, Princeton University Press, 978-1-4008-4805-8,
  • {{Citation | last =Collins | first =Steven | year =1998 | title =Nirvana and Other Buddhist Felicities | publisher =Cambridge University Press | url =}}
  • {{Citation | last =Collins | first =Steven | year =2010 | title =Nirvana: Concept, Imagery, Narrative | publisher =Cambridge University Press | url =}}
  • BOOK, Duiker, William J., Spielvogel, Jackson J., 2008, World History: To 1800,weblink
  • {{Citation | last1 =Easwaran | first1 =Eknath | title= The Bhagavad Gita:(Classics of Indian Spirituality) | date =2007 | publisher=Nilgiri Press | isbn =9781586380199 | url =}}
  • {{Citation | last1 =Frazier | first1= Jessica | title =The Continuum Companion to Hindu Studies | date =2011 | publisher =Continuum International Publishing Group | isbn =978-0-8264-9966-0 | url =}}
  • {{Citation | last1 =Fowler | first1 =Jeaneane D. | title =The Bhagavad Gita: A Text and Commentary for Students | date =2012 | publisher =Sussex Academic Press | isbn =9781845193461 | url =}}
  • BOOK, harv, Richard F., Gombrich, How Buddhism Began: The Conditioned Genesis of the Early Teachings,weblink 2006, Routledge, 978-1-134-19639-5,
  • BOOK, harv, Damien, Keown, A Dictionary of Buddhism,weblink 2004, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-157917-2,
  • {{Citation | last =Nyanatiloka|first= Mahathera | year =1980 | title =Buddhist Dictionary: Manual of Terms And Doctrines | place = Kandy, Sri Lanka | publisher =Buddhist Publication Society | edition = 4 }}
  • BOOK, Patrick, Olivelle, 1992, The Samnyasa Upanisads: Hindu Scriptures on Asceticism and Renunciation, Oxford University Press, 9780195361377,weblink harv,
  • BOOK, Pruthi, R.K., 2004, Sikhism And Indian Civilization,weblink
  • {{Citation | last =Trainor | first =Kevin | year =2004 | title =Buddhism: The Illustrated Guide | publisher =Oxford University Press | isbn =978-0-19-517398-7 | url=}}

Further reading

  • BOOK, Brahm, Ajahn, Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond: A Meditator's Handbook, 2006, Wisdom Publications, 9780861712755,weblink 13 June 2016,weblink" title="">weblink 5 March 2016, yes, dmy-all,
  • Kawamura (1981). Bodhisattva Doctrine in Buddhism. Wilfrid Laurier University Press.
  • JOURNAL, Lindtner, Christian, Problems of Pre-Canonical Buddhism, Buddhist Studies Review, 1997, 14, 2,weblink
  • Nananaranda, Katukurunde (2012). Nibbana - The Mind Stilled (Vol. I-VII). Dharma Grantha Mudrana Bharaya.
  • BOOK, Williams, Paul, Tribe, Anthony, Buddhist Thought,weblink 2000, Routledge, 978-0-415-20701-0,
  • Yogi Kanna (2011). Nirvana: Absolute Freedom. Kamath Publishings.

External links

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