Nibanna, the Deathless, and Self


How do you interpret “dimension” here?


by Bhikkhu Bodhi


This interesting remark has nonetheless scent of kama loka.
It circumscribes Buddhist experience to kama loka only.
Total liberation of citta (and beyond,) occurs outside kama loka.

This view has still scent of empiricist secular Buddhism.


According to Bhikkhu Bodhi, Nibbana is "not only the destruction of defilements and the end of
samsara but a reality transcendent to the entire world of mundane experience, a reality
transcendent to all the realms of phenomenal existence…an ‘ayatana’. This means realm, plane or sphere."

I’m still not clear what you mean by “Ultimate Truth” - if you mean Nibbana, then why not just say that?


In What The Buddha Taught, Rev. Rahula repeatedly referred to Nirvana as the Ultimate or Absolute Truth:


Fair enough. Though I think cliches like “Ultimate Truth” are so vague as to be meaningless. Each religion has it’s own ideas about “Truth”, and many of them are contradictory.


I strongly believe that Buddhism is either the truth religion or it’s a unique expression of the one Ultimate Truth that is common to Hinduism, Taoism, etc.


Under Ud8.1: refers to the unconditioned.

There is that dimension, monks…

Yet under normal conditions, it’s noted as “plane” of existence.
One can see that there is a shift from delusion (samsara) to non-delusion (Nibbana)…to signify an escape…transcends between the two.


I agree with your post here for the most part. I do think though, that although they were using the saecular (of the age/time) mode of communication, the in-fashion thing, to debate philosophical metaphysics; they were getting at the experience through the means . If you look at some of the themes they are at least using the language important in EBT Dhamma like suññatā whereas the Abhidhammists sabhāvas are just not doctinally important. So maybe I overstepped by saying they were “a return to” EBT, I think maybe it’s more accurate to say they were at least heading in that direction in some ways (obviously the bodhisatva stuff, etc. is just not) instead of away like the Abhidhammist theory-of-everything were.

The general impulse of that early Prajñāpāramitā literature seems to me to be deconstructive — towards the Abhidhammist ivory tower construction projects; and towards the entanglements of experience itself — and that is in line with the thrust of the MN suññatasuttas.


This song reminds me of Nirvana:

If there is no self, then we’re bigger than our bodies give us credit for. To experience Nirvana is to experience perfect non-duality with the Ultimate Truth.

When Buddhism says there is no self, it means that our notion of a separate, unchanging self is a delusion of the ego.

In our true nature, we are Nirvana itself.



Matter doesn’t get absorbed into emptiness (Nibbana).

Is Nibbana a ‘Grande, coffee’ in which the small ‘self’ of primo coffee, becomes dissolved in? :grinning:

If Matter is already empty what is the reason, for all these koans, zen etc.?


with metta


Which is exactly definition of Upanishadism and Hinduisn.
And not definition of Buddhism.

Making one with external and internal is Upanishadic and Hindu creed.
And this is what ajhans of secular “buddhism” are advocating nowadays.
They are advocating sort of Upanishadic creed.
Very wrong.

Please read Rabindranath Tagore’s Sādhanā (short read), to understand what Hinduism is all about. Tagore was a Brahmo, but it does not matter much.


Maybe you smell like the kāmaloka!


SF 293 (Sanskrit Sarvāstivāda Mahāparinirvāṇasūtra) & SA 176 (Chinese Sarvāstivāda Smṛtyupasthānasūtra):

  1. adhyātmaṃ kāye bahirdhā kāye ’dhyātmabahirdhā kāye / 內身 […] 外身 […] 內外身 […]
  2. adhyātmaṃ vedanāsu bahirdhā vedanāsu adhyātmabahirdhā vedanāsu / 內受 […] 外受 […] 內外受 […]
  3. adhyātmaṃ citte bahirdhā citte ’dhyātmabahirdhā citte / 內心 […] 外心 […] 內外心 […]
  4. adhyātmaṃ dharmeṣu bahirdhā dharmeṣu adhyātmabahirdhā dharmeṣu dharmānupaśyī viharati / 內法 […] 外法 […] 內外法法觀住

[In this way they meditate by observing an aspect] of the body inside; […] of the body outside; […] of the body inside and outside [… an aspect] of sensations inside; […] of sensations outside; […] of sensations inside and outside […] of mind inside; […] of mind outside; […] of mind inside and outside […] of phenomena inside; […] of phenomena outside; […] of phenomena inside and outside[.]

To quote Ven Sujato:

Internally means in one’s own self; externally means outside one’s self; and internally/externally means seeing with wisdom that inside and outside are essentially the same, for example, that the earth element inside and outside are just the earth element.


Albert Einstein proposed the most famous formula in physics in a 1905 paper on Special Relativity titled Does the inertia of an object depend upon its energy content ?

Essentially, the equation says that mass and energy are intimately related. Atom bombs and nuclear reactors are practical examples of the formula working in one direction, turning matter into energy.

But until now there has been no way to do the reverse, turn energy into matter. What makes it particularly hard is that c2 term, the speed of light squared. It accounts for the huge amounts of energy released in nuclear reactions, and the huge amount you’d need to inject to turn energy into matter.

Previous experiments have always required a little bit of mass, even if it was only an electron’s worth.

But scientists at Imperial College London ( including a visiting physicist from Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics ) think they’ve figured out how to turn energy directly into matter


I just try to see the Prajna-paramita Sutra from the scientific perspective, although that sutras might not speak at all about science. But the phrase ‘rūpaṃ śūnyatā śūnyataiva rūpaṃ; rūpān na pṛthak śūnyatā śunyatāyā na pṛthag rūpaṃ;’ or ‘Form ( which is equal to Mass ) is emptiness ( which is equal to Energy ), emptiness is form, Emptiness is not differ from form, form is not differ from emptiness’, this phrase seems very compatible with the findings in the science, that mass and energy are indeed intimately related, that matter can be transformed into energy, and energy can be transformed into matter… :slight_smile:


Not really. This is more like Hinduism, the merging of Atman and Brahman. Buddhism is more like a change of state. It seems like you have an agenda to promote perennialism, but is this really appropriate for a Buddhist forum?


The unconditioned is presented as an “escape” from the conditioned, and the two appear to be quite distinct. The question is whether these are actually different spheres/dimensions, or just different states of mind. What do you think?


Again with the “Ultimate Truth” cliche! :roll_eyes:

It really is meaningless, and therefore unhelpful to discussion.