Saturday, 14 February 2009

Parinirvana - Nirvana day

Parinirvana (Bo nie pan in Chinese) is the Buddhists final nirvana. This is reach upon the death of a person who has achieved a complete awakening. This is the ultimate goal, it is the releasefrom bhavachakra, samsara, karma and rebirth and the dissolution of all mental and worldy aggregates (skandhas).

The Mahaparinibbana Sutta and the Nirvana Sutra describe the parinirvana of the Buddha. The Mahaparinibbana Sutta (Theravada tradition) is the principal source because of its attention to detail in the most standard studies of the Buddhas life and the oldest existing account. Although the Nirvana Sutra (Mahayana Tradition) mentions well known episodes in the final months of the Buddhas life, the narratives are merely a springboard for the expression of Mahayana ideals.

Nirvana Day is a Mahayan Buddhist holiday which is celebrated in East Asia and by some Western Buddhists. Buddhists beleive the Buddha was Enlightened and hat he was free from the pain of physical existence. Passages from the Nirvana Sutra are often read on this day as well as meditation and visits to Buddhist temples and monastaries. This day is also a time to think about one's own future death and those of loved ones. The though process reflects Buddhist teachings on transience.

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