Download Nirvana: Concept, Imagery, Narrative by Steven Collins PDF

By Steven Collins

The belief of nirvana (Pali nibb?na) is desirable yet elusive for non-specialists and experts alike. delivering his personal interpretation of key texts, Steven Collins explains the assumption in a brand new, obtainable means - as an idea, as a picture (metaphor), and as a component within the means of narrating either linear and cyclical time. Exploring nirvana from literary and philosophical views, he argues that it has a particular position: to supply 'the feel of an finishing' in either the systematic and the narrative considered the Pali imaginaire. Translations from a few texts, together with a few facing previous and destiny Buddhas, permit the reader to entry resource fabric without delay. This booklet should be crucial examining for college students of Buddhism, yet also will have a lot to educate a person curious about Asia and its religions, or certainly an individual with an curiosity within the principles of everlasting lifestyles or timelessness.

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Extra info for Nirvana: Concept, Imagery, Narrative

Example text

The passages are as follows: 1. That sphere (a¯yatana*) exists, monks, where there is no earth, no water, no heat and no wind, where the sphere of infinite space does not exist, nor that of infinite consciousness, nor that of neither-perception-nor-non-perception; there is neither this world nor the other world, neither moon nor sun; there, I say, 48 nirvana: concept, imagery, narrative there is no coming and going, no duration (of life, to be followed by) death and rebirth; it is not stationed, it is without occurrence(s), and has no object.

To transcend time and suffering. There is no ultimate beginning of things in Buddhism. In Buddhist texts in Sanskrit, as in Brahmanical texts, it became common to present doctrines in the form of actual or possible debates, either between Buddhists and non-Buddhists or between different schools within Buddhism. With the major exception of a text called Katha¯-vatthu (‘Points of Controversy’), such debates are rare in Therava¯da. There are, however, some passages of this kind in which the existence of nirvana is made an object of explicit argument, in three main ways: (i) Nirvana exists, the only unconditioned Existent, the opposite of all conditioned Existents; that is to say, Nirvana exists, unlike the self postulated by non-Buddhists, the ‘nature’ posited by the Sa¯mkhya system of Hinduism, or (impossible ˙ objects like) a hare’s horn.

If and only if X [nirvana] exists, Y [the Path leading to escape from samsa¯ra] exists. ˙ 2. Y exists, 3. therefore X exists. The symbolic form of this is: Iff x ⊃ y. ∃y ⊃ x, which is valid, although it cannot prove the existence of nirvana to those who do not already accept 2. The commentary’s exegesis could also be seen in the light of a different kind of philosophical analysis, whose argument is analogous to a Kantian transcendental deduction. ’; and the answer is that the existence of X must be assumed.

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