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It is often said that nirvana is bliss.

What I'm struggling with, and have been for years now, despite reading a fair amount, is whether nirvana, being blissful, is not just objectively so.

i.e. is nirvana good for the buddha or saint that achieves it?

Because if it is, then I don't think it can only be an end to the causal series. Just like, when a fire has stopped burning, we don't say the fire is not hot.

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All conditioned or caused phenomena are bad. Because they are unsatisfying. That which is not conditioned or caused is good. It is good for anyone who achieves it.

This problem occurs when you think that 'good' means a person experiencing a pleasurable mental or physical feeling. Nibbana is not a feeling. All feelings are caused. It's an existing phenomenon that cuts off the cause of suffering at the moment of attainment.

  • got it. it's tempting to think of the buddha's nirvana as a feeling; is that the same kinda thing as thinking of the "person" as a self ? – sorta_buddhist May 12 '16 at 4:26
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    We think like that because Nibbana is outside of the framework we are familiar with. i.e. the five aggregates. So there's no real example to show that Nibbana is like this. Both 'person' and 'self' are misunderstandings of the five aggregates. – Sankha Kulathantille May 12 '16 at 4:33
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    thanks for the to the point and agreeable answers, it's v much appreciated :) – sorta_buddhist May 12 '16 at 4:49
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Nirvana is not 'caused'. This is why the Buddha referred to the "path" to Nirvana rather than the "cause" of Nirvana.

Imagine being blind-folded. The eyes cannot see any sights. But if the blind-fold is removed, sights can be seen.

Similarly, greed, hatred & delusion are like a blind-fold that prevent experiencing Nibbana. Nibbana is not something 'mental' although the mind experiences Nibbana (as a sense object).

This is similar to how a tree or flower is not the eye, but the eye experiences the tree or flower.

It is just as if a man, traveling along a wilderness track, were to see an ancient path, an ancient road, traveled by people of former times. He would follow it. Following it, he would see an ancient city, an ancient capital inhabited by people of former times, complete with parks, groves, & ponds, walled, delightful

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.065.than.html

  • thanks for the reply, tho i don't understand the suggestion that you're correcting me and i said, or meant, that nirvana is caused – sorta_buddhist May 12 '16 at 7:10
  • sorry if i sound hostile, it's not the best medium for the exchange of these sorts of ideas :) – sorta_buddhist May 12 '16 at 7:17
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    that's OK. i apologise if I misunderstood your question. regards – Dhammadhatu May 12 '16 at 9:03

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