Time in Buddhism

If Nibbana is a timeless / eternal state then it means that my current experience of perpetual ephemeral-ness is not it.
Then how did the processes required for this “engine of Time” emerge from an eternal state ?
But in Buddhism do we even originally come form Nibbana and we are in “mission” to return to it or is it something different?

Hi @xenomyr,

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Please note that this post was moved to the Watercooler, because the interpretation of Nibbana that you are referring to belongs to later traditions. Please also note that there are multiple threads related to that interpretation already in this forum. Please familiarise with the search functionality to find them.

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The difference between nibbana (the unconditioned) and samsara is that the former is not subject to any cause and effect, is not a cause for samsara. Similarly the noble eightfold path does not cause the unconditioned, although leads to it. The conditioned (samsara) is described in the suttas as beginningless, so that is one of the concepts a Buddhist must have. Questions like the origin of the world (samsara) are not to be thought about, as they are not necessary or conducive to the goal, which is the recognition of, and removal of suffering. It is highly profitable however to contemplate the impermanent (ephemeral) nature of conditioned reality, where everything is subject to the cycle of birth, maturity, decline and death, and that there is something apart from that (the unconditioned), forming a dual reality, and how to skillfully deal with that situation. From that pondering insight arises, which allows progress on the path:

“An arahant monk,
one who is done,
effluent-free, bearing his last body:
He would say, ‘I speak’;
would say, ‘They speak to me.’

knowing harmonious gnosis
with regard to the world,
he uses expressions
just as expressions.”—Samyutta Nikaya 1.25

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That’s not a concept in Buddhism. That’s what possibly the Hindus believe. They mistaken the Brahma realm for nibbana. Given that the universe expand and contract, and expands again, and beings mostly go reborn in the 2nd Jhāna Brahma realm during the destruction of the universe phase, then repopulate the universe after it expands; (deep breath) we all are likely to have stayed in Brahma realm before and fall into human realm. So those sages who only remembered the past lives to Brahma realm thinks that we had fallen from grace of God or something like that, and the mission is to go back there. See DN1, DN 27 for textual evidences.

In Buddhism, our cosmology is much more vast. The Brahma realm is within samsara, mortal, subject to change, therefore suffering. It’s not Nibbana.

If you got this notion from Mahayana, take note that when they say we are originally enlightened or something like that, they do not mean it in time wise, like in the past enlightened. They mean it layered wise. Like removing greed, hatred, delusion is nibbana, so they are thinking of the sky naturally has the sun shining, but only clouds covering the sun. Removing the clouds, one sees the sun. Not that there was a point in time in the past there was no clouds. Sunny day here refers to nibbana, clouds here refers to the 3 poisons. It means that Nibbana is not born from removing the clouds, it’s unborn. Just as the sun is not born from removing the clouds.

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Thanks very much for your answers.

In my current mindset I think understanding the origin or the absence thereof is quite important to me because currently not having these questions solved puts me in a state of confusion and that confusion cause a bit of a mental suffering.