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Sukha or happiness for an unenlightened person is experienced when encountering pleasant feelings (from the six senses) or when encountering the cessation of painful feelings (from the six senses) or when experiencing neutral feelings (from the six senses) through ignorance (as boredom for example). But for an arahat, sukha or bliss (in this context) is experienced when encountering neutral feelings, no feelings and Nibbana. Please see this answer for commentaries by Nyanaponika Thera. The supporting suttas are MN 44, SN 36.5 and AN 9.34.

Sukha or happiness for an unenlightened person is experienced when encountering pleasant feelings (from the six senses) or when encountering the cessation of painful feelings (from the six senses) or when experiencing neutral feelings (from the six senses) through ignorance (as boredom for example). But for an arahat, sukha or bliss (in this context) is experienced when encountering neutral feelings, no feelings and Nibbana. Please see this answer for commentaries by Nyanaponika Thera. The supporting suttas are MN 44, SN 36.5 and AN 9.34.

Sukha or happiness for an unenlightened person is experienced when encountering pleasant feelings (from the six senses) or when encountering the cessation of painful feelings (from the six senses). But for an arahat, sukha or bliss (in this context) is experienced when encountering neutral feelings, no feelings and Nibbana. Please see this answer for commentaries by Nyanaponika Thera. The supporting suttas are MN 44, SN 36.5 and AN 9.34.

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Compounded refers to things that are built up of other things. For e.g. your body is built up of bones, flesh, blood, bile, saliva, cells etc. However, through objectification-classification or reification (papancapapañca), we perceive them as concrete objects, relative to us. For e.g., this is my body, that is not my body.

So, Nibbana is not a thought of the mind, not a concept of the mind, not a state of the mind, not a state of consciousness and also not a feeling. However, when the mind experiences this Nibbana, which is not conditioned, not compounded, not suffering, not impermanent, not arising, not ceasing and not changing, it experiences bliss. The mind can therefore experience Nibbana, but it cannot feel it or think about it.

The stream winner glimpses Nibbana in moments when he is in perfect mindfulness (sati) and clear comprehension (sampajañña) of the four noble truths, the eightfold noble path, the three marks of existence and dependent origination, through wisdom and insight (vipassana). These are the moments when he understands things clearly as they truly are (yathābhūtaṃ pajānāti). These are moments when the five hindrances have been stilled and effluents (asava) are temporarily not arising, but ignorance (avijja) has not been completely uprooted yet. When the five hindrances are stilled and effluents are ceased, craving does not occur. See this answer for details on sati sampajañña.

Compounded refers to things that are built up of other things. For e.g. your body is built up of bones, flesh, blood, bile, saliva, cells etc. However, through objectification-classification or reification (papanca), we perceive them as concrete objects, relative to us. For e.g., this is my body, that is not my body.

So, Nibbana is not a thought of the mind, not a concept of the mind, not a state of the mind, not a state of consciousness and also not a feeling. However, when the mind experiences this Nibbana, which is not conditioned, not compounded, not suffering, not impermanent, not arising, not ceasing and not changing, it experiences bliss.

The stream winner glimpses Nibbana in moments when he is in perfect mindfulness (sati) and clear comprehension (sampajañña) of the four noble truths, the eightfold noble path, the three marks of existence and dependent origination, through wisdom and insight (vipassana). These are the moments when he understands things clearly as they truly are (yathābhūtaṃ pajānāti). These are moments when the five hindrances have been stilled and effluents (asava) are temporarily not arising, but ignorance (avijja) has not been completely uprooted yet. See this answer for details on sati sampajañña.

Compounded refers to things that are built up of other things. For e.g. your body is built up of bones, flesh, blood, bile, saliva, cells etc. However, through objectification-classification or reification (papañca), we perceive them as concrete objects, relative to us. For e.g., this is my body, that is not my body.

So, Nibbana is not a thought of the mind, not a concept of the mind, not a state of the mind, not a state of consciousness and also not a feeling. However, when the mind experiences this Nibbana, which is not conditioned, not compounded, not suffering, not impermanent, not arising, not ceasing and not changing, it experiences bliss. The mind can therefore experience Nibbana, but it cannot feel it or think about it.

The stream winner glimpses Nibbana in moments when he is in perfect mindfulness (sati) and clear comprehension (sampajañña) of the four noble truths, the eightfold noble path, the three marks of existence and dependent origination, through wisdom and insight (vipassana). These are the moments when he understands things clearly as they truly are (yathābhūtaṃ pajānāti). These are moments when the five hindrances have been stilled and effluents (asava) are temporarily not arising, but ignorance (avijja) has not been completely uprooted yet. When the five hindrances are stilled and effluents are ceased, craving does not occur. See this answer for details on sati sampajañña.

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OP: Is Nibbana a state of mind or a dhammadhamma?

In this answer, we find the definition of dhammadhamma quoted as:

dhammadhamma [Skt. dharma]dharma]:(1) Event; a phenomenon in and of itself; (2) mental quality; (3) doctrine, teaching; (4) nibbānanibbāna. Also, principles of behavior that human beings ought to follow so as to fit in with the right natural order of things; qualities of mind they should develop so as to realize the inherent quality of the mind in and of itself. By extension, "Dhamma""Dhamma" (usu. capitalized) is used also to denote any doctrine that teaches such things. Thus the DhammaDhamma of the Buddha denotes both his teachings and the direct experience of nibbānanibbāna, the quality at which those teachings are aimed.

For the purpose of this answer, we will use the definition of dhammadhamma as a thing or phenomena - any thing. It could be physical or mental or empty space or time or non-physical and non-mental, or a concept or a teaching - any thing.

In this answer, a sankharasankhara is summarized as:

SankharasSankharas are "co-doings," things that act in concert with other things, or things that are made by a combination of other things. Ven. Bodhi uses "formations" or "volitional formations" as his preferred translation.

There are 3 uses of the term SankharaSankhara in the scriptures:

  1. Second link in dependent origination - when ignorance and craving underlie our stream of consciousness, our volitional actions of body, speech, and mind become forces with the capacity to produce results, including "rebirth".
  2. The fourth of the five aggregates - volition regarding forms, sounds, smells, tastes, tactile objects, and ideas. Also covers all factors of mind except feeling and perception.
  3. All conditioned and compounded things including mountains, fields, and forests; towns and cities; food and drink; jewelry, cars, and computers.

The only thing which is unconditioned and uncompounded is Nibbana.

Your body, your mind, your thoughts, your consciousness, your states of mind, the five aggregates, the idea of the self, the Buddha's teachings as an idea of the mind, the luminous mind (pabhassara cittapabhassara citta), empty space, time - they are all conditioned and/or compounded.

Everything that is conditioned, would arise, change and cease depending on other conditions - for example, when you read this sentence, thoughts about the concept of sankharasankhara arise in your mind, then ceases. Your understanding or views regarding this concept would also change with time.

Compounded refers to things that are built up of other things. For e.g. your body is built up of bones, flesh, blood, bile, saliva, cells etc. However, through objectification-classification or reification (prapancapapanca), we perceive them as concrete objects, relative to us. For e.g., this is my body, that is not my body.

  1. All conditioned and compounded things or phenomena are impermanent. (sabbe sankhara aniccasabbe sankhara anicca)
  2. All conditioned and compounded things or phenomena are suffering. (sabbe sankhara dukkhasabbe sankhara dukkha)
  3. All things or phenomena are not-self. (sabbe dhamma anattasabbe dhamma anatta)

SukhaSukha or happiness for an unenlightened person is experienced when encountering pleasant feelings (from the six senses) or when encountering the cessation of painful feelings (from the six senses) or when experiencing neutral feelings (from the six senses) through ignorance (as boredom for example). But for an arahat, sukhasukha or bliss (in this context) is experienced when encountering neutral feelings, no feelings and Nibbana. Please see this answer for commentaries by Nyanaponika Thera. The supporting suttas are MN 44, SN 36.5 and AN 9.34.

The stream winner glimpses Nibbana in moments when he is in perfect mindfulness (satisati) and clear contemplationcomprehension (sampajaññasampajañña) of the four noble truths, the eightfold noble path, the three marks of existence and dependent origination, through wisdom and insight (vipassanavipassana). These are the moments when he understands things clearly as they truly are (yathābhūtaṃ pajānātiyathābhūtaṃ pajānāti). These are moments when the five hindrances have been stilled and effluents (asavaasava) are temporarily not arising), but ignorance (avijjaavijja) has not been completely uprooted yet. See this answer for details on sati sampajaññasati sampajañña.

When the stream winner is not in mindfulness (satisati) and clear contemplationcomprehension (sampajaññasampajañña), he is afflicted by craving and suffering. However, since he has seen things clearly as they are, identity view, doubt about the teachings and attachment to rites and rules would have been uprooted completely. However, some of underlying tendencies (anusayaanusaya - see AN 7.11), especially craving and ignorance, still exist, hence the remaining fetters still exist.

OP: Is Nibbana a state of mind or a dhamma?

In this answer, we find the definition of dhamma quoted as:

dhamma [Skt. dharma]:(1) Event; a phenomenon in and of itself; (2) mental quality; (3) doctrine, teaching; (4) nibbāna. Also, principles of behavior that human beings ought to follow so as to fit in with the right natural order of things; qualities of mind they should develop so as to realize the inherent quality of the mind in and of itself. By extension, "Dhamma" (usu. capitalized) is used also to denote any doctrine that teaches such things. Thus the Dhamma of the Buddha denotes both his teachings and the direct experience of nibbāna, the quality at which those teachings are aimed.

For the purpose of this answer, we will use the definition of dhamma as a thing or phenomena - any thing. It could be physical or mental or empty space or time or non-physical and non-mental, or a concept or a teaching - any thing.

In this answer, a sankhara is summarized as:

Sankharas are "co-doings," things that act in concert with other things, or things that are made by a combination of other things. Ven. Bodhi uses "formations" or "volitional formations" as his preferred translation.

There are 3 uses of the term Sankhara in the scriptures:

  1. Second link in dependent origination - when ignorance and craving underlie our stream of consciousness, our volitional actions of body, speech, and mind become forces with the capacity to produce results, including "rebirth".
  2. The fourth of the five aggregates - volition regarding forms, sounds, smells, tastes, tactile objects, and ideas. Also covers all factors of mind except feeling and perception.
  3. All conditioned and compounded things including mountains, fields, and forests; towns and cities; food and drink; jewelry, cars, and computers.

The only thing which is unconditioned and uncompounded is Nibbana.

Your body, your mind, your thoughts, your consciousness, your states of mind, the five aggregates, the idea of the self, the Buddha's teachings as an idea of the mind, the luminous mind (pabhassara citta), empty space, time - they are all conditioned and/or compounded.

Everything that is conditioned, would arise, change and cease depending on other conditions - for example, when you read this sentence, thoughts about the concept of sankhara arise in your mind, then ceases. Your understanding or views regarding this concept would also change with time.

Compounded refers to things that are built up of other things. For e.g. your body is built up of bones, flesh, blood, bile, saliva, cells etc. However, through objectification-classification or reification (prapanca), we perceive them as concrete objects, relative to us. For e.g., this is my body, that is not my body.

  1. All conditioned and compounded things or phenomena are impermanent. (sabbe sankhara anicca)
  2. All conditioned and compounded things or phenomena are suffering. (sabbe sankhara dukkha)
  3. All things or phenomena are not-self. (sabbe dhamma anatta)

Sukha or happiness for an unenlightened person is experienced when encountering pleasant feelings (from the six senses) or when encountering the cessation of painful feelings (from the six senses) or when experiencing neutral feelings (from the six senses) through ignorance (as boredom for example). But for an arahat, sukha or bliss (in this context) is experienced when encountering neutral feelings, no feelings and Nibbana. Please see this answer for commentaries by Nyanaponika Thera. The supporting suttas are MN 44, SN 36.5 and AN 9.34.

The stream winner glimpses Nibbana in moments when he is in perfect mindfulness (sati) and clear contemplation (sampajañña) of the four noble truths, the eightfold noble path, the three marks of existence and dependent origination, through wisdom and insight (vipassana). These are the moments when he understands things clearly as they truly are (yathābhūtaṃ pajānāti). These are moments when the five hindrances have been stilled and effluents (asava) are temporarily not arising), but ignorance (avijja) has not been completely uprooted yet. See this answer for details on sati sampajañña.

When the stream winner is not in mindfulness (sati) and clear contemplation (sampajañña), he is afflicted by craving and suffering. However, since he has seen things clearly as they are, identity view, doubt about the teachings and attachment to rites and rules would have been uprooted completely. However, some of underlying tendencies (anusaya - see AN 7.11) still exist, hence the remaining fetters still exist.

OP: Is Nibbana a state of mind or a dhamma?

In this answer, we find the definition of dhamma quoted as:

dhamma [Skt. dharma]:(1) Event; a phenomenon in and of itself; (2) mental quality; (3) doctrine, teaching; (4) nibbāna. Also, principles of behavior that human beings ought to follow so as to fit in with the right natural order of things; qualities of mind they should develop so as to realize the inherent quality of the mind in and of itself. By extension, "Dhamma" (usu. capitalized) is used also to denote any doctrine that teaches such things. Thus the Dhamma of the Buddha denotes both his teachings and the direct experience of nibbāna, the quality at which those teachings are aimed.

For the purpose of this answer, we will use the definition of dhamma as a thing or phenomena - any thing. It could be physical or mental or empty space or time or non-physical and non-mental, or a concept or a teaching - any thing.

In this answer, a sankhara is summarized as:

Sankharas are "co-doings," things that act in concert with other things, or things that are made by a combination of other things. Ven. Bodhi uses "formations" or "volitional formations" as his preferred translation.

There are 3 uses of the term Sankhara in the scriptures:

  1. Second link in dependent origination - when ignorance and craving underlie our stream of consciousness, our volitional actions of body, speech, and mind become forces with the capacity to produce results, including "rebirth".
  2. The fourth of the five aggregates - volition regarding forms, sounds, smells, tastes, tactile objects, and ideas. Also covers all factors of mind except feeling and perception.
  3. All conditioned and compounded things including mountains, fields, and forests; towns and cities; food and drink; jewelry, cars, and computers.

The only thing which is unconditioned and uncompounded is Nibbana.

Your body, your mind, your thoughts, your consciousness, your states of mind, the five aggregates, the idea of the self, the Buddha's teachings as an idea of the mind, the luminous mind (pabhassara citta), empty space, time - they are all conditioned and/or compounded.

Everything that is conditioned, would arise, change and cease depending on other conditions - for example, when you read this sentence, thoughts about the concept of sankhara arise in your mind, then ceases. Your understanding or views regarding this concept would also change with time.

Compounded refers to things that are built up of other things. For e.g. your body is built up of bones, flesh, blood, bile, saliva, cells etc. However, through objectification-classification or reification (papanca), we perceive them as concrete objects, relative to us. For e.g., this is my body, that is not my body.

  1. All conditioned and compounded things or phenomena are impermanent. (sabbe sankhara anicca)
  2. All conditioned and compounded things or phenomena are suffering. (sabbe sankhara dukkha)
  3. All things or phenomena are not-self. (sabbe dhamma anatta)

Sukha or happiness for an unenlightened person is experienced when encountering pleasant feelings (from the six senses) or when encountering the cessation of painful feelings (from the six senses) or when experiencing neutral feelings (from the six senses) through ignorance (as boredom for example). But for an arahat, sukha or bliss (in this context) is experienced when encountering neutral feelings, no feelings and Nibbana. Please see this answer for commentaries by Nyanaponika Thera. The supporting suttas are MN 44, SN 36.5 and AN 9.34.

The stream winner glimpses Nibbana in moments when he is in perfect mindfulness (sati) and clear comprehension (sampajañña) of the four noble truths, the eightfold noble path, the three marks of existence and dependent origination, through wisdom and insight (vipassana). These are the moments when he understands things clearly as they truly are (yathābhūtaṃ pajānāti). These are moments when the five hindrances have been stilled and effluents (asava) are temporarily not arising, but ignorance (avijja) has not been completely uprooted yet. See this answer for details on sati sampajañña.

When the stream winner is not in mindfulness (sati) and clear comprehension (sampajañña), he is afflicted by craving and suffering. However, since he has seen things clearly as they are, identity view, doubt about the teachings and attachment to rites and rules would have been uprooted completely. However, some of underlying tendencies (anusaya - see AN 7.11), especially craving and ignorance, still exist, hence the remaining fetters still exist.

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