Is Nibbana a type of Moksha, or something different?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Polar Bear
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Re: Is Nibbana a type of Moksha, or something different?

Post by Polar Bear » Fri Sep 22, 2017 4:11 am

Sam Vara wrote:The term moksha means "release, emancipation, liberation", and so I guess the Pali term that comes closest would be vimutti. The difficulty with all three terms is that they are said to be ineffable and the language describing them tends to be apophatic or figurative, so there is little that we can do in order to determine whether they are synonymous.
Yes, vimutti comes from the same root as vimokkha in Pali, the root muc. I would suggest that moksha in buddhism is not ineffable. It is the extinguishment (=nibbana) of greed, hate, and delusion. And the presence and absence of these 3 unwholesome roots can be seen with wisdom.

Vimutti
Vimutti (f.) [fr. vimuccati] release, deliverance, emanci- pation D i.174; iii.288; S v.206 sq. (abhijānāti), 222 (ariya˚), 266, 356; A ii.247, iii.165 (yathābhūtaŋ pajānāti), 242, Sn 54, 73, 725 sq.; J i.77, 78, 80; Ps i.22; ii.143 sq.; Nd1 21; Pug 27, 54 sq.; Vbh 86, 272 sq., 392 (micchā˚) Nett 29; Vism 410; Sdhp 614. -- ceto˚ (& paññā˚) emancipation of heart (and reason) D i.156; iii.78, 108, 247 sq., 273; S i.120; ii.214; iv.119 sq.; v.118 sq., 289 sq.; A i.123 sq., 220 sq.; 243; ii.36, 87, 214; iii.20, 131, 400; iv.83, 314 sq.; v.10 sq.; Vbh 344; Nett 40, 43, 81 sq., 127. -- sammā˚ right or true emancipation A ii.222 sq.; v.327; Ps i.107; ii.173. -- See also arahatta, upekkhā, khandha ii.A, dassana, phala, mettā.
-- rasa the essence of emancipation A i.36; iv.203; PvA 287. -- sāra substance or essence of emancipation A ii.141, 243; iv.385.

http://dsalsrv02.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/p ... :1823.pali
“There is a method of exposition by means of which a bhikkhu—apart from faith … apart from acceptance of a view after pondering it—can declare final knowledge thus: ‘Destroyed is birth … there is no more for this state of being.’ And what is that method of exposition? Here, bhikkhus, having seen a form with the eye, if there is lust, hatred, or delusion internally, a bhikkhu understands: ‘There is lust, hatred, or delusion internally’; or, if there is no lust, hatred, or delusion internally, he understands: ‘There is no lust, hatred, or delusion internally.’ Since this is so, are these things to be understood by faith, or by personal preference, or by oral tradition, or by reasoned reflection, or by acceptance of a view after pondering it?”

“No, venerable sir.”

“Aren’t these things to be understood by seeing them with wisdom?”

“Yes, venerable sir.”

“This, bhikkhus, is the method of exposition by means of which a bhikkhu can declare final knowledge thus: ‘Destroyed is birth … there is no more for this state of being.’

[similarly with the other senses including the mind]

“This, bhikkhus, is the method of exposition by means of which a bhikkhu—apart from faith, apart from personal preference, apart from oral tradition, apart from reasoned reflection, apart from acceptance of a view after pondering it—can declare final knowledge thus: ‘Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this state of being.’”

https://suttacentral.net/en/sn35.153
Nibbana is definitely moksha in that it is liberation and that Pali language equivalents of the term moksha can mean nibbana, although they can also mean the 8 attainments (jhanas and formless states) and the 4 brahmaviharas. I take it to be obvious that buddhist and hindu notions of moksha are not identical.

See Ven. Anālayo's encyclopedia entries on Vimokkha, Vimutti, and Vimuttāyatana

:anjali:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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Sam Vara
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Re: Is Nibbana a type of Moksha, or something different?

Post by Sam Vara » Fri Sep 22, 2017 9:28 am

polarbear101 wrote:
Sam Vara wrote:The term moksha means "release, emancipation, liberation", and so I guess the Pali term that comes closest would be vimutti. The difficulty with all three terms is that they are said to be ineffable and the language describing them tends to be apophatic or figurative, so there is little that we can do in order to determine whether they are synonymous.
Yes, vimutti comes from the same root as vimokkha in Pali, the root muc. I would suggest that moksha in buddhism is not ineffable. It is the extinguishment (=nibbana) of greed, hate, and delusion. And the presence and absence of these 3 unwholesome roots can be seen with wisdom.
You're right - ineffability is too strong here. My point is that given our own lack of experience of what is being referred to, and our necessary reliance upon apophatic and figurative language, we lack the ability to be certain about whether the three terms are synonymous or not.

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Re: Is Nibbana a type of Moksha, or something different?

Post by Saengnapha » Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:08 am

Correct me if I am mistaken, but moksha, liberation, describes an event in nature, a kind of moment, often described as a release. Nibbana seems to be the state of the liberated one. A Buddha takes no position, doesn't rest on any conceptual form or activity. This is ineffable.

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