1

Is there a sutta which answers where a nirvanaised consciousnesses is after death and comapres it to a fire going out?

I thought there was, but can't find it. Sounds like Vacchagota mashed up with the fire sermon.

I'm asking because I like the image, and it almost appears in some modernist poetry.

Failing a sutta, any zen discourses.

Failing that, anywhere in the canon.

Failing that, any important Buddhist, living or dead.

Failing that an academic.

2

You're probably thinking of Itivuttaka 44:

This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "Monks, there are these two forms of the Unbinding property. Which two? The Unbinding property with fuel remaining, & the Unbinding property with no fuel remaining.

And what is the Unbinding property with fuel remaining? There is the case where a monk is an arahant whose fermentations have ended, who has reached fulfillment, finished the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, ended the fetter of becoming, and is released through right gnosis. His five sense faculties still remain and, owing to their being intact, he is cognizant of the agreeable & the disagreeable, and is sensitive to pleasure & pain. His ending of passion, aversion, & delusion is termed the Unbinding property with fuel remaining. (Note1)

And what is the Unbinding property with no fuel remaining? There is the case where a monk is an arahant whose fermentations have ended, who has reached fulfillment, finished the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, ended the fetter of becoming, and is released through right gnosis. For him, all that is sensed, being unrelished, will grow cold right here. This is termed the Unbinding property with no fuel remaining." (Note2)

Note1 and Note2 (commentary by Thanissaro Bhikkhu):
With fuel remaining (sa-upadisesa) and with no fuel remaining (anupadisesa): The analogy here is to a fire. In the first case, the flames are out, but the embers are still glowing. In the second, the fire is so thoroughly out that the embers have grown cold. The "fuel" here is the five aggregates. While the arahant is still alive, he/she still experiences the five aggregates, but they do not burn with the fires of passion, aversion, or delusion. When the arahant passes away, there is no longer any experience of aggregates here or anywhere else.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.