I came across this excellent discussion of nirodha recently:
What is Nirodha?

wherein nirodha was defined to be "the cessation of suffering" i.e. "the third noble truth".

I tend to use the word "nibbana" to represent this phenomenon, so I am a little bit confused about the need for 2 different terms here.

If one were to set aside the concept of physical rebirth after death, would any difference between the concepts of "nirodha" and "nibbana" remain?

If so, what is the nature of this difference?


Nirodha is a process, namely, the cessation of defilements & suffering (caused by insight).

Nibbana is the pre-existing element of peace that is experienced when cessation occurs.

Its like opening a window to experience a cool breeze. Nirodha is opening the window. Nibbana is the cool breeze.

  • This is a fantastic answer. A very effective metaphor. – Alex Ryan Mar 3 at 23:17

Patisambhidamagga, Nibbana-dhatu:

"There are two types of relinquishment through cessation: relinquishment as giving up, and relinquishment as entering into. It gives up defilements and aggregates, thus it is relinquishment as giving up; cognizance enters cessation which is the nibbana principle thus it is relinquishment as entering into. These are the two kinds of relinquishment through cessation."

Nirodhavasena dve vossaggaa: pariccaagavossaggo ca, pakkhandanavossaggo ca. Kilesa ca khandhe ca pariccajatiiti, pariccaagavossaggo; nirodhanibbaanadhaatuyaa cittam pakkhandatiiti. Pakkhandanavossaggo nirodhavasena ime dve vossaggaa.

This, bhikkhu, is a designation for the element of Nibbāna: the removal of lust, the removal of hatred, the removal of delusion. The destruction of the taints is spoken of in that way. https://suttacentral.net/sn45.7/en/bodhi

we enter upon and abide in the cessation of perception and feeling. And our taints are destroyed by our seeing with wisdom. https://suttacentral.net/mn31/en/bodhi

"When a monk has emerged from the cessation of perception & feeling, to what does his mind lean, to what does it tend, to what does it incline?"

"When a monk has emerged from the cessation of perception & feeling, his mind leans to seclusion, tends to seclusion, inclines to seclusion." https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn41/sn41.006.than.html#fn-4

According to the commentary, "seclusion" here stands for Nibbana.

  • 1/ Fascinating. I will try to explain in my own words how this integrates into my current understanding. My intuition is that @Dhammadhatu’s answer (1) nirodha is the process of cessation and (3) nibbana is the state resulting from the application of that process is still true but your answer adds details of the process itself including (1) discernment between the 2 types of relinquishment through cessation and (2) how the mind is inclined to seclusion after sensation and (3) this “inclination towards cessation” is also a meaning of the term “nibbana”. – Alex Ryan Mar 4 at 0:33
  • 2/ So nibbana is both (1) the state itself and (2) the inclination of the mind towards this state. Did I understand your meaning correctly? – Alex Ryan Mar 4 at 0:34
  • 1
    Me and DD are in total disagreement as to what these things mean. I think he is the most confused person on these boards and he probably thinks of me likewise. – Buddhism Mar 4 at 0:38
  • 3/ Deeper integration w.r.t. “seclusion” = nibbana: My intuition is that when “condition1“ (the view that happiness depends upon the satiation of the desire for a particular sensory experience) aka “the hindrance of sense-desire” meets with “condition 2” (undesired circumstance), these 2 conditions “cause” the “first arrow in the heart” of pain (aka “condition 3”). – Alex Ryan Mar 4 at 0:41
  • 4/ Continuing to cling to the attachment to the sense-desire in the presence of pain gives rise to condition 4 (the thought “I will never be happy”) i.e. “the hindrance of doubt”. (sense-desire + contact = pain) (sense-desire + pain = doubt) – Alex Ryan Mar 4 at 0:41

I have not learnt the meaning of Niroddha from the Suttas but I think Niroddha is a kind of tool or process which when employed by someone prevents the effect of a cause from coming into existence... for example if you wear a fire proof glove then you can put your hands into the fire and you will not be affected. Another interesting example would be of a chameleon. It changes color whenever it perceives a threat or seeks food. This way inspite of being present among the enemies it survives. By employing Niroddha Nirvana is achieved.

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