The Three Nirvanas



“Calming of all conditioned things, giving up of all defilements, extinction of ‘thirst’, detachment, cessation, Nibbana.” That’s what ends dukkha, i.e. life’s unpleasantness, so the Buddha.


“The cessation of continuity and becoming (hence of unpleasant turbulence, my insertion) is Nibbana.”


Calmness – non turbulence – happens in three ways:


Nirvana 1: Parinirvana @ whole action (hence whole entity) cessation

Nirvana 2: Nirvana @ non-action or non-response

Nirvana 3: Nirvana @ full (i.e. samma-sam) attainment of action




The above wavelet describes one life cycle (i.e. one transient existence, action or phase of becoming/ending).


Nirvana 1 happens before the wavelet arises and after it subsides.

Nirvana 2 happens when there is no response to the wavelet’s action.

Nirvana 3 happens at the wavelet’s (i.e. either) peak i.e. when (wave) action (or passion) is ended, exhausted. This happens if and when an individual achieves full or perfect functioning, i.e. goal attainment (to wit: samma-sam(bodhi)), in other words, just after a peak experience.


Nirvana 1 (i.e. parinirvana) happens at wavelet collapse (death). It collapses when inner turbulence (i.e. Samsara) is ended. Since a person (or any thing) happens (i.e. arises or emerges) as whole after-affect of a wavelet, in other words, since a person (or any thing) is a wavelet (i.e. the whole affect of a wave (of conditions) interference pattern dependent on its constituent wavelets, hence empty of own existence, so the Buddha), he or she disappears (i.e. ends) together with/as the collapsing wavelet. @ total wavelet collapse, absolute calmness returns but without a person (to enjoy it). This Nirvana cannot be experienced.

Nirvana 2 is the calm that results from taking no position (within Samsara), that is to say, by not responding. It happens either as voluntary wavelet collapse, that is to say, when self-generated turbulence, to wit, the asavas (or ‘intoxicants’, in fact, the drivers of life) is (or are) ended or by taking the Middle, indeed ZERO Way of non action. The calm that results from non-response or non action is a relative calm. There are n relative Nirvana 2’s. The Buddhist saint, having shut down the drivers of life, is virtually dead (to the world, i.e. displaying extreme apathy) though still in the body. This Nirvana (i.e. as relief) can be experienced as simple bliss.

Nirvana 3 is the calm that follows upon goal achievement. It happens as aftermath of perfection (i.e. samma-sam) ≈ fulfilment (for instance, if one or more elements of the Noble 8-fold Path is (are) perfected or the Mahayana ‘perfections’ are attained). This Nirvana is relative; there are n such Nirvanas. This Calmness can be experienced as rapturous joy.


The storm of (a) life



Nirvana index