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Nirvana - artelino

Buddha entering Nirvana.Nirvana is the ultimate goal of Buddhist believers. It is the end of the cycle of rebirths and the end to all worldly suffering.

The way to Nirvana is by achieving enlightenment, a complete understanding of things.

Buddhism is not a consistent concept, but there are different schools with different interpretations and emphasis. Tibetan Buddhism for instance puts emphasis on the exertion of compassion towards others to achieve Nirvana.

The Teachings of the Historical Buddha

The historical Buddha was an Indian prince who lived from around circa 563-483 BC. He had experienced that humans suffer in this world. At the age of 29 he left the luxurious palace of his father to find an answer to how suffering could be ended. Under the guidance of gurus he lived a life of strong ascetism for six years until he and his comrades looked like skeletons. Buddha had to recognize that this did not lead him to anything. He began to eat again, sat down under a tree and began meditating and found enlightenment.

The Historical Buddha Enters Nirvana

Buddha spent the rest of his life teaching his findings to others. He died at the age of roughly 80 years. With his death he entered Nirvana. The Tibetan thangka shown on this page shows the scene of the historical Buddha entering Nirvana. Buddha is lying on a bed with his disciples surrounding him. They know that Buddha has reached the ultimate goal of Nirvana. Nevertheless they look sad and worried, just like humans do when they lose a loved one for ever.

Buddha entering Nirvana - surrounded by disciples.

Nirvana - a Buddhist Paradise?

The teachings of Buddha were written down a long time after the death of the historical Buddha. In these writings Buddha speaks of Nirvana as a condition of great bliss and happiness. This is maybe the reason why Nirvana is often regarded as the equivalent of the concept of Paradise of Christianity.

Nirvana is different from the Christian concept of Paradise. Nirvana is the end from suffering and the end of rebirths. It is the end of all. It is the "Nothing".

Dieter Wanczura, July 2010.

Last Updated on Saturday, 30 October 2010 22:29  

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