Nibbāna is NOT self

Continuing the discussion from Nibbana – A "dhamma", a "dhatu" – or utter extinguishment?:

This is a discussion thread to resolve the currently held views of a few people regarding nibbāna as me, myself, mine, self or Self. In other words, such views as:

  1. Nibbāna is I
  2. Nibbāna is inside me
  3. I am inside nibbāna
  4. Nibbāna is a property of myself
  5. I am nibbāna
  6. I have nibbāna
  7. My fake self is the 5 aggregates while my true self is always nibbāna
  8. Nibbāna is the ground state (like ocean) from which all phenomenon (like waves) spring off
  9. My purified mind is Nibbāna, defilements (like clouds) only hiding the moon (Nibbāna)
  10. Nibbāna is the same One Self of all of us together

In short summary:

  1. ALL above views are wrong views.
  2. Nibbāna is a reality as explicitly declared by the Buddha by the 3rd Noble Truth.
  3. Furthermore, NOTHING can be declared as me, myself, mine, self or Self.
  4. Nibbāna is NOT impermanent, NOT suffering and NOT self.

Here I will present a few reasons to clarify:

Reason #1:
Suppose that nibbāna is really me, myself, mine, self or Self.
Fact 1: Nibbāna is NOT impermanent, NOT suffering.
Fact 2: The only way we can have dispassion to anything is by seeing them as impermanent, suffering and not self.

We will run into bad situation because: How can we now have dispassion toward nibbāna?
Answer: It’s impossible!

If we don’t have dispassion toward nibbāna, craving will arise and then clinging will arise. That means suffering will follow.
The Buddha does NOT teach such dhamma!

Reason #2:
Suppose that nibbāna is really me, myself, mine, self or Self.
Fact 1: Nibbāna is NOT impermanent, NOT suffering.
Fact 2: The 5 aggregates are impermanent, suffering and not self.
Fact 3: All our actions are based on the 5 aggregates.

We will run into bad situation because: How do we even care about wholesome or unwholesome action?
Answer: It’s not relevant anymore! You can do all the unwholesome actions in the world and the Nibbāna aka true you does not get any tiny effect. You can do all the wholesome actions in the world and the Nibbāna aka true you does not get any tiny effect. Why do we even care to do any action, instead of just laying down or die already?

This is nihilism and annihilationism and hedonism and whole bunch of other wrong views in one package.
The Buddha does NOT teach such dhamma!

Reason #3:
Suppose that nibbāna is really me, myself, mine, self or Self.
Fact 1: Nibbāna is NOT impermanent, NOT suffering.
Fact 2: The 5 aggregates are impermanent, suffering and not self.
Fact 3: Before enlightenment, the mind does NOT know and does NOT experience Nibbāna.
Fact 4: At the moment of enlightenment, the mind does know and does experience Nibbāna.

We will run into bad situation because:

  • If we equate the mind as Nibbāna, we will have 2 different versions of Nibbāna, according to fact 3 and fact 4. This will invalidates fact 1 and gives contradiction.
  • So, we can NOT equate the mind as Nibbāna.
  • So, the mind can’t have the same characteristics of “not impermanent” as Nibbāna.
  • So, after enlightenment, because the mind is impermanent, it will surely cease to know and will surely cease to experience Nibbāna. When that happens, Nibbāna aka true you suddenly does not know and does not experience yourself anymore. This will invalidates fact 1 and gives contradiction.

This is inherent contradiction from within.
The Buddha does NOT teach such dhamma!

Conclusion: I hope that I have presented as above some guidelines (not exhausted list) to bring down such wrong views regarding Nibbāna.

I would like also to beg monks and nuns to not stay indifferent and ignore such wrong views.

Please have compassion and pour out wisdom to bring the light of Dhamma to other beings.
:pray: :pray: :pray:

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The 3rd Noble Truth sounds like it is about the mind & impermanence to me. :dizzy:

Now this is the noble truth of the cessation of suffering. It’s the fading away and cessation of that very same craving with nothing left over; giving it away, letting it go, releasing it, and not adhering to it.

And while this discourse was being spoken, the stainless, immaculate vision of the Dhamma arose in Venerable Koṇḍañña: “Everything that has a beginning has an end.”

SN 56.11


he doesn’t take pleasure [delight] in extinguishment.

nibbānaṁ nābhinandati.

MN 1

I’m not sure this is possible. There is plenty of excellent material to refute all these views. Those who hold these views would have changed their minds by now if they were open to doing so. Besides, addressing people who are not open to your ideas is not usually efficient.

I share your sense of urgency in refuting wrong views. And that’s why I’m grateful for the immense effort monastics have gone through to dispel wrong views. The more I read Ajahn Brahmali’s paper on this topic, the more I’m in awe of the effort it takes to produce something like this. Not just the writing of the paper, but the years of study required to put it all together. Wow! We’re so lucky.

Well, I certainly rejoice in seeing this too but… It’s not always compassionate to engage someone who’s proliferating out the wazoo. If explaining things would help, rebirth/Nibbana/Jhana threads would be very short. Sometimes added explanation helps. Sometimes no explanation will ever be enough because the problem is doubt.


I find it not fair to accuse people of wrong views, at least not like this. Thats why i personally flagged this post.

If you think people have views which do not match with sutta’s, well, participate in that discussion at that moment. Share your understanding, and maybe there is something to learn from you.

The discussion you refer to has as main topic …IS the ultimate goal of Buddha-Dhamma only an utter exstinguishment after death? Please investigate or participate. Give your opinion if you like.

Oh yes he does. Buddha teaches that we do not have to be dispassionate regarding Nibbana and the seeing of the yet unseen, to discover the yet undiscovered, to realise the yet not realised. Craving can be used, and also conceit. This is the teaching.

Nibbana in this live is self in that way that IF there is a total absence of grasping, absence of identifying with khandha’s, no ideas nor any conceit about who or what you are, you are at that moment yourself.

Maybe you have some feeling for this?

Thank you for making a super clear illustration of what it looks like in my post about “craving and clinging for nibbana”

Oh no he does not. Please read MN1.

Sorry to disappoint you but I don’t have any confirmation for your speculation about my feeling.

You do not understand it.

You are not able to discuss things with me in a fair, open, respectful way but are always only intend on accusing me of wrong ideas, wrong views, wrong understanding.

I think you have already made enough illustrations so far for showing how it looks like about “craving and clinging for nibbana”. So i suggest that you should stop making more illustrations.

Buddha teaches that we can make use of desire and conceit. At this moment i do not know this sutta reference, but i am sure it is there. @paul1 also sometime refered to this sutta.

Yes, we must not see anything as me and mine, not grasp, not identify and than you are yourself :grinning: You have arrived home. Buddha was looking for a home and found it there. Finally you do not self-alienate anymore and live in a broken world. You have found yourself, meaning wholeness, completeness, home, Nibbana in this live. How? Because you do not see anything as me and mine. That is being yourself, home, at peace.

Dear All,

Please remember that this is a place of peaceful discussion.

I have helped by taking out any such reference to self.

Try to read again your message above (after editing out) and see how it is now clear and makes sense.

Picking up such a self is redundant in your message and that will surely bring suffering as we all have already seen with all the craving and clinging.

I think we can safely say that Nibbana isn’t Atman or Brahman.

I feel Guy Eugene Dubois, who studies Pali texst and translates them into Dutch, and posts regurly in boeddhistische dagblad (dutch online buddhist newspaper), is right when he talks about, or uses the word Self-realisation as the goal of Dhamma. Please stay with me for a moment. Are you gone allready?

I believe this does not mean that one follows some doctrine of Self but one abandons gradually what is not yours. It is like going to the core of oneself.

I felt the need to clarify this: going to the core oneself is just an expression. It means: going to ones essential nature, not as a soul, not as an atman, but exactly like water that is purified from all what is adventitious to it, comes to its essence. When those defilements are removed the nature of water reveals itself as it is.

The same with the purification of mind. The nature of mind is not seen for what it is when adventitious defilements (tanha, asava, anusaya) cause disturbance. It swholeness, its completeness, its egolessness, its peace, its emptiness, is not seen or tasted.

I believe this is also why we start seeking for happiness outside us in the first place.

But while we do this, this nature of mind even gets more hidden for us. The truth of the end of suffering gets even more hidden while we defile ourselves.


So do you see this essential nature or purified mind as impersonal?
Would my purified mind be the same as yours?

I see the essential nature as egolessness, without attachment, and in that sense impersonal, because grasping makes things personal.

I feel there is no difference between you and me on the level of purified mind, and also not between animal, deva and hell being.

Here are some words on Nibbana from Ajahn Pannavaddho from a book called uncommon wisdom

“The way of Buddhism leads toward absolute truth. The only way to reach there is to adapt the mind’s state accordingly. If we adapt the mind’s level to that of absolute truth, then we can experience absolute truth. The purpose of Buddhist training is to reach that point. The absolute truth is Nibbāna, of course. So we have to adjust the mind to the conditions that lead to Nibbāna. When we have incorporated those conditions into the mind, we will eventually reach the goal. Otherwise, we won’t succeed. The whole training points the way to Nibbāna”.

"Mostly, the defilements are on top. They’re the boss. It is only when we begin to see things as they really are that the Dhamma starts getting stronger. As the Dhamma gains strength, the defilements
have less chance to interfere. By persisting diligently in the practice of Dhamma—and it’s very hard work—one can eventually break through to a natural state of total freedom. The Buddha called it “Nibbāna.” Nibbāna is what we all really should be. It’s there within us all the time, but we just don’t recognize it. If we can clear away all traces of ignorance and defilements, what’s left will be Nibbāna.

“Nothing we experience is fixed and immutable; all is flowing and changing. Nibbāna is the one permanent reality that does not change”.

"Also, it isn’t that we destroy the self through meditation, but that we come to understand that the self is an illusion. No destruction of self takes place because there’s nothing to destroy. It’s rather like trying
to destroy a shadow. Seeing through the illusion, on the other hand, reveals the mind’s true nature. Fundamentally, the element of Nibbāna is there within us already. It must be there; if it wasn’t there already we couldn’t possibly reach it, because Nibbāna is not subject to arising"

“But regardless of individual temperament, Nibbāna is equally accessible to everyone. I’d say that Nibbāna is already there in everybody and everybody knows it, but they don’t recognize it. Intuitively, we know that there is something better than this world, but we don’t know what it is. So we search for it. Because we have an array of senses to work with, we tend to focus out in the direction of the senses, looking there for true happiness. Of course, that’s searching in the wrong direction”

"The ultimate goal, Nibbāna, is beyond the world, beyond attachment. The nature of Nibbāna is emptiness. When our consciousness is rooted in this world, however, we cannot become aware of emptiness. We have no means to know what it is. Instead, we hold tightly to perceptions of “me” and “mine,” so the world we live in is bound by artificial conditions. We are attached to a world of conditioned reality. Nibbāna, on the other hand, is totally unconditioned. At that level,
there is no difference between one person and another".


Nibbana is Buddha-dhatu “Buddha-nature”, which is empty of self or of anything belonging to self :thinking:

I think this is a wrong start.

I think it is more like Ajahn Pannavaddho says: “Nibbāna is what we all really should be. It’s there within us all the time, but we just don’t recognize it”

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Nibbana is cessation of becoming (bhavanirodho)

At that time I perceived that the cessation of continued existence is extinguishment.

Bhavanirodho nibbānan’ti saññī ca panāhaṁ, āvuso, tasmiṁ samaye ahosin”ti.

  • AN 10.7

As to what bhava is, there’s a lot of interpretations, I like the phenomological interpretation by Ven Bodhesako Being and Craving – Path Press

Regardless of interpretation, stopping bhava requires stopping the 3 poisons, craving, clinging, identity view, and the fetters.

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