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If no thing transmigrates, and nibbana is cessation,

Is a perception of death - a perception of cessation, then akin to a perception of nibbana?

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  • The question in my opinion needs to be reframed. There can be no 'perception' of death for death is cessation of all perception. Similarly Nibbana too cannot be 'perceived'; it is beyond perception. Jul 5 at 13:13
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Nibbana is cessation of delusion, cessation of ambition and greed, cessation of lacking, cessation of needing more, cessation of "everything is wrong", cessation of worrying about one's future, cessation of "i am better" and "i am worse", cessation of ego-centric hoping and fearing, cessation of taking reification of signs seriously, cessation of the need to escape, cessation of Path, cessation of Attainment, cessation of taking boundaries as something absolute, cessation of overgeneralization - just to list a few examples.

Death is merely one abstraction, one concept, one simplistic generalization - of many such ones that cease at Nibbana.

Perception of (someone's) death is making, while Nibbana is not-making. Making is constructing or shaping reality with your mind, playing a game of make-believe. Nibbana is cessation of playing games. They are actually quite the opposite, death and Nibbana.

The only aspect that I can think of as common between death and Nibbana is letting go.

4

It was taught to Anurādha,
That the Buddha himself
Wasn’t to be regarded,
As a real and genuine fact.

Not being a real and genuine fact,
How can it be that the death
Of the Buddha should be
Regarded as a real and genuine fact?

Not being a real and genuine fact,
How can it be that the Nirvana
Of the Buddha should be
Regarded as a real and genuine fact?

If the Buddha is not to be
Regarded as a real and genuine fact,
How can it be that lesser beings
Should be regarded as real and genuine facts?

The Buddha taught that
The death of a real and genuine being
Has never been perceived anywhere,
Anytime, by anyone.

Not being perceived by anyone,
How can it be that the perception of death
Should be regarded as the perception of
That which is described as the deathless?

Depending upon ignorance,
The fabrication of “death” is perceived.
With the pacification of all fabrications
How could such a thing as “death” be perceived?

“The pacification of all fabrications”
This is how Nirvana is described.
The emptiness of these fabrications
Is taught as a door to the deathless.

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Is a perception of death - a perception of cessation, then akin to a perception of nibbana?

No, it's not - Nibbana is the only unconditioned Dhamma out of the Four Ultimate Realities (Rupa, Citta, Cetasika, Nibbana). Nibbana does not arise or cease and is not subject to the Three Marks of Existence, except the Third Mark: Anatta, which applies to both conditioned and unconditioned Dhammas.

It's an independent, existing reality that meditators/the mind can experience through correct practice (following the Noble Eightfold Path). It's an experience that is not like anything else one has ever experienced before and cannot be compared to anything in Samsaric existence.

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persons transmigrate. nirvana is the cessation of that. that is not merely death.

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The is no such as perception of ones death, once avijja is already uprooted, good householder. And to reach such, even perception of Nibbana has to be abounded.

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No. Perception of death is usually the fear or terror of losing what one clings to, usually consciousness, form etc.

At Savatthi. There the Blessed One said, "Monks, suppose there were a river, flowing down from the mountains, going far, its current swift, carrying everything with it, and — holding on to both banks — kasa grasses, kusa grasses, reeds, birana grasses, & trees were growing. Then a man swept away by the current would grab hold of the kasa grasses, but they would tear away, and so from that cause he would come to disaster. He would grab hold of the kusa grasses... the reeds... the birana grasses... the trees, but they would tear away, and so from that cause he would come to disaster.

"In the same way, there is the case where an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard for men of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma — assumes form (the body) to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form. That form tears away from him, and so from that cause he would come to disaster.

"He assumes feeling to be the self, or the self as possessing feeling, or feeling as in the self, or the self as in feeling. That feeling tears away from him, and so from that cause he would come to disaster.

"He assumes perception to be the self, or the self as possessing perception, or perception as in the self, or the self as in perception. That perception tears away from him, and so from that cause he would come to disaster.

"He assumes (mental) fabrications to be the self, or the self as possessing fabrications, or fabrications as in the self, or the self as in fabrications. Those fabrications tear away from him, and so from that cause he would come to disaster.

"He assumes consciousness to be the self, or the self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in the self, or the self as in consciousness. That consciousness tears away from him, and so from that cause he would come to disaster.
SN 22.93

Nibbana is peace, bliss, deathless (i.e. free from the fear and terror of death), permanent freedom from suffering.

Health is the greatest gift,
contentment is the greatest wealth,
a trusted friend is the best relative,
Nibbana is the greatest bliss.
Dhp 204

At one time Venerable Sāriputta was staying near Rājagaha, in the Bamboo Grove, the squirrels’ feeding ground.

There he addressed the mendicants: “Reverends, Nibbana is bliss! Nibbana is bliss!”

When he said this, Venerable Udāyī said to him, “But Reverend Sāriputta, what’s blissful about it, since nothing is felt?”

“The fact that nothing is felt is precisely what’s blissful about it.
AN 9.34

There is that dimension, monks, where there is neither earth, nor water, nor fire, nor wind; neither dimension of the infinitude of space, nor dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, nor dimension of nothingness, nor dimension of neither perception nor non-perception; neither this world, nor the next world, nor sun, nor moon. And there, I say, there is neither coming, nor going, nor staying; neither passing away nor arising: unestablished, unevolving, without support [mental object]. This, just this, is the end of stress (suffering).
Ud 8.1

One who is dependent has wavering. One who is independent has no wavering. There being no wavering, there is calm. There being calm, there is no yearning. There being no yearning, there is no coming or going. There being no coming or going, there is no passing away or arising. There being no passing away or arising, there is neither a here nor a there nor a between-the-two. This, just this, is the end of stress (suffering).
Ud 8.4

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Death is like cessation, isn't it -- dissolution, transformation -- whereas nibbana is the unborn and the undying.

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  • the above appears to say nirodha (cessation) & nibbana are unrelated; even though both words are commonly found within the same definition of nibbana Jul 2 at 5:50
  • Canonically I think that nibbana is attained by cessation of tendencies from which birth (and ignorance) arises, but I think that wasn't what the question was asking.
    – ChrisW
    Jul 2 at 7:13

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