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Nirvāṇa        Nirvāṇa    Niết bÓn    涅槃    Nirvāṇa
nirvāṇa, 'blown out, gone out, put out, extinguished'; 'liberated-from existence'; 'dead, deceased, defunct.' 'Liberation, eternal bliss'; '(with Buddhists and Jainas) absolute extinction or annihilation, complete extinction of individual existence.' M.W. Other forms are 涅槃那; 泥日; 泥洹; 泥畔 Originally translated 滅 to extinguish, extinction, put out (as a lamp or fire), it was also described as 解脫 release, 寂滅 tranquil extinction; 無爲 inaction, without effort, passiveness; 不生 no (re)birth; 安樂 calm joy; 滅度transmigration to 'extinction'. The meaning given to 'extinction' varies, e.g. individual extinction; cessation of rebirth; annihilation of passion; extinction of all misery and entry into bliss. While the meaning of individual extinction is not without advocates, the general acceptation is the extinction or end of all return to reincarnation with its concomitant suffering, and the entry into bliss. Nirvāṇa may be enjoyed in the present life as an attainable state, with entry into parinirvāṇa, or perfect bliss to follow. It may be (a) with a 'remainder', i.e. the cause but not all the effect (karma), of reincarnation having been destroyed; (b) without 'remainder', both cause and effect having been extinguished. The answer of the Buddha as to the continued personal existence of the Tathāgata in nirvāṇa is, in the Hīnayāna canon, relegated 'to the sphere of the indeterminates' (Keith), as one of the questions which are not essential to salvation. One argument is that flame when blown out does not perish but returns to the totality of Fire. The Nirvāṇa Sutra claims for nirvāṇa the ancient ideas of 常樂我淨 permanence, bliss, personality purity in the transcendental realm. Mahāyāna declares that Hīnayāna by denying personality in the transcendental realm denies the existence of the Buddha. In Mahāyāna final nirvāṇa is transcendental, and is also used as a term for the absolute. The place where the Buddha entered his earthly nirvāṇa is given as Kuśinagara.