Viscid wrote:Nibbana defined as simply being a state free from 'Greed, Hatred and Delusion' is selling it short. The language used to describe it in the suttas, especially in the Udana, seems to point at something more significant than that.
Yes, the Atman, I am sure.
Having never experienced Nibbana, I can't say what it is. I don't think it's something which has its own independent existence.. but if The Buddha wanted to convey that Nibbana was simply a state free from greed, hatred and delusion he'd have not used such confusing superfluous terminology to describe it.
Is Nibbana freedom from greed, hated and delusion? Yes, of course, but is it simply that and nothing else?
Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote:The state that supervenes when ignorance and craving have been uprooted is called Nibbana, and no conception in the Buddha’s teaching has proved so refractory to conceptual pinning down as this one. In a way such elusiveness is only to be expected, since Nibbana is described precisely as “profound, hard to see and hard to understand, ... unattainable by mere reasoning” (M 26.19). Yet in this same passage the Buddha also says that Nibbana is to be experienced by the wise and in the suttas he gives enough indications of its nature to convey some idea of its desirability. The Pali Canon offers sufficient evidence to dispense with the opinion of some interpreters that Nibbana is sheer annihilation; even the more sophisticated view that Nibbana is merely the destruction of defilements and the extinction of existence cannot stand up under scrutiny. Probably the most compelling testimony against that view is the well-known passage from the Udana that declares with reference to Nibbana that “there is an unborn, unbecome, unmade, unconditioned,” the existence of which makes possible “escape from the born, become, made and conditioned” (Ud 8.3). The Majjhima Nikaya characterises Nibbana in similar ways. It is “the unborn, unageing, unailing, deathless, sorrowless, undefiled supreme security from bondage,” which the Buddha attained to on the night of his enlightenment (M 26.18). Its pre-eminent reality is affirmed by the Buddha when he calls Nibbana the supreme foundation of truth, whose nature is undeceptive and which ranks as the supreme noble truth (M 140.26). Nibbana cannot be perceived by those who live in lust and hate, but it can be seen with the arising of spiritual vision, and by fixing the mind upon it in the depths of meditation, the disciple can attain the destruction of the taints [asava – also variously translated as ‘outflows’ or ‘corruptions’] (M 26.19, M 75.24, M 64.9).
The Buddha does not devote many words to a philosophical definition of Nibbana. One reason is that Nibbana, being unconditioned, transcendent, and supramundane, does not easily lend itself to definition in terms of concepts that are inescapably tied to the conditioned, manifest, and mundane. Another is that the Buddha’s objective is the practical one of leading beings to release from suffering, and thus his principal approach to the characterisation of Nibbana is to inspire the incentive to attain it and to show what must be done to accomplish this. To show Nibbana as desirable, as the aim of striving, he describes it as the highest bliss, as the supreme state of sublime peace, as the ageless, deathless, and sorrowless, as the supreme security from bondage. To show what must be done to attain Nibbana, to indicate that the goal implies a definite task, he describes it as the stilling of all formations, the relinquishing of all acquisitions, the destruction of craving, dispassion (M 26.19). Above all, Nibbana is the cessation of suffering, and for those who seek an end to suffering such a designation is enough to beckon them towards the path.