The Four Nirvanas

There are four kinds of Nirvana:

  1. Natural nirvana–One’s true nature. The ability to see the true nature of all phenomena. Also known as Buddha nature.
  2. Nirvana with residue–It occurs during life. Static nirvana (peaceful). There is still the “residue” of the five aggregates. This is the nirvana of Arhats.
  3. Nirvana without residue–It occurs at the moment of death. Also a static nirvana (peaceful). Also known as Parinirvana. This is the nirvana of Bodhisattvas.
  4. Nirvana of no abiding–Doesn’t abide in nirvana (peace) or samsara (suffering). Non-static nirvana (compassionate). Also known as Anuttara Samyak Sambodhi. It is Buddhahood.

©2016 Stephen L. Martin

Illustration: Mahākāśyapa was the only disciple to have understood the flower sermon. How deep was his insight?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s