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Nirvana Biography

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[Nirva?a (Devanagari ???????, Pali: Nibbana ??????? -- Chinese: ??; Pinyin: niè pán), literally "extinction" and/or "extinguishing" (ie, of the passions) is a mode of being that is free from mind-contaminants (Kilesa) such as lust, anger or craving. It is thus a state of great inner peace and contentment - the end of suffering, or Dukkha. The Buddha in the Dhammapada says of Nirvana that it is 'the highest happiness'. This is not the transitory, sense-based happiness of everyday life, but rather an enduring, transcendental happiness integral to the calmness attained through enlightenment.

The Buddha describes the abiding in nirvana as 'deathlessness' (Pali: amata or amaravati) or 'the unconditioned' and as the highest spiritual attainment, the natural result that accrues to one who lives a life of virtuous conduct in accordance with Dharma. Such a life (called Brahmacarya in India) dissolves the causes for future becoming (Skt, Karma; Pali, Kamma) that otherwise keep beings forever wandering through realms of desire and form (samsara).

There are many synonyms for Nirvana, as shown by the following passage:
World Honored One, the ground of fruition is bodhi, nirvana, true suchness, the Buddha-nature, the amala-consciousness, the empty treasury of the Thus Come One, the great, perfect mirror-wisdom. But although it is called by these seven names, it is pure and perfect, its substance is durable, like royal vajra, everlasting and indestructible. (Surangama Sutra IV 207)
Artist information courtesy of their Wikipedia entry, which is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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