Title : Define Nibbana නිර්වාණය අර්ථ දැක්වීම (Lakshan)
Author: Lakshan Bandara
Last Modified Date: 2020-07-23
Article Code: 108
Keywords: nibbana, define, nonexistence
"I know that I know nothing"
~ Socrates, based on a statement in Plato's Apology ~
Socrates meant to be humble to admit the limits of his knowledge.
Since he denied any kind of knowledge, then tried to find someone wiser than himself among politicians, poets, and craftsmen.
It appeared that:
- politicians claimed wisdom without knowledge;
- poets could touch people with their words, but did not know their meaning;
- craftsmen could claim knowledge only in specific and narrow fields.
Nibbana, God, Mind, Infinity and Zero are nonexistence.
Refer to: "True Harmony of Buddhism and Creator God Religions" article in Intellect Forum.
"I know that I know nothing"
~ Socrates ~
My question: "Can I know nothing (nonexistence) ?"
"I know that I CANNOT know nothing, while I'm alive.
I cannot know nonexistence.
But, I can know ABOUT nonexistence."
"Nonexistence cannot be defined.
Only existence can be defined.
(අර්ථ දැක්විය හැක්කේ පැවැත්ම පමණි.)
Therefore, Nibbana cannot be defined."
It is possible to know ABOUT Nibbana using allegory (උපමා කතාව).
Allegory is a story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning.
Existence is like a candle flame.
When the flame blows out, where did it go?
Nibbana (nonexistence) is like that.
From existence view, we explain existence using cause and effect:
Causes (substance, oxygen and heat) to effect (flame).
From existence view, we try to explain nonexistence using cause and effect:
When one or more causes are removed, there will no longer be the effect.
But, nonexistence has no laws.
Nibbana cannot be explained using existence cause and effect.
Though I cannot know nonexistence (Nibbana), I can experience Nibbana when detach from thoughts (සිතුවිලි වලට බැඳීමෙන් තොර).
It is called satisfaction (නිරාමිස සුවය).
People of Sri Lanka need satisfaction, irrespective of happiness gained thought the accumulation of existence.
There are two types of Nibbana:
1. Partial Nibbana (සෝපාදිසේස නිර්වාණ) while living.
2. Complete Nibbana (අනුපාදසේස/නිරූපාදිසේස නිර්වාණ) when death.
We cannot live without thinking.
When we see, hear, smell, taste, touch or think, we maintain attachment to that thought by editing (සංස්ඛාර) it.
Suffering is an attribute in the existence of thought.
(සියලු සංස්ඛාර දුකයි, තණ්හා ජායතී සෝකෝ)
(නිවන = නි + වන; නි = නැති කිරීම; වාන = තෘෂ්ණාව)
To get rid of an existing thought (Nibbana), we think of something else.
Therefore, Nibbana while living is partial.
See Figure-1. (click to view in original size)
Suppose the thought SubSystem-1 contains, Pen thought.
When focus on SybSystem-2 thought, it is possible to experience Nibbana (nonexistence) from the Pen thought.
But, the thought of Pen exists in Main System of Thoughts, because the main system contains both subsystem-1 and subsystem-2.
Living is all about thinking.
Therefore, a living can experience partial Nibbana.
If partial Nibbana is a problem, let's find a solution.
See Figure-2. (click to view in original size)
When removing the limits of the existing pen, the pen non-exists.
Infinite existence is nonexistence.
That is complete Nibbana, while living.
It solves another problem.
Is it possible to remove the ego of 'I'?
Attain Nibbana by detaching from the existence of thought 'I'.
Do I think, or is 'I' another existing thought?
Think of it, away from 'I'.
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