Nirodha Samapatti

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    • #38122

      Hello dhamma friends,
      Does Nirodha Samapatti feel like parinibbana?

    • #38124

      Yes. That is correct.
      – But probably we should not say “feel like” because there are no feelings (vedana) in Nirodha Samapatti.
      – It is the total and complete absence of dukkha.

    • #38128

      Thanks Lal, another question popped up in my mind.
      Is it true that only arahants can enter nirodha samapatti?

    • #38129

      Not all Arahants can attain Nirodha Samapatti.
      – Pannavimutta Arahants who have not cultivated jhana samapatti cannot get into it. That is because one needs to proceed systematically through the first four jhana samapatti, then systematically go through the arupavacara samapatti, and finally enter Nirodha Samapatti.

      See, “Nirōdha Samāpatti, Phala Samāpatti, Jhāna, and Jhāna Samāpatti
      – It is an old post. Please let me know if you see any errors.

    • #38130

      Okay, I now I see that not all arahants can attain nirodha samapatti, but does that mean that anagamis are unable to attain nirodha samapatti?

    • #38131

      Nirodha Samapatti means “entering full Nibbana” for up to 7 days at a time.
      – So it will not be possible for Anagamis to attain it.

    • #38197
      Sammasambodhi Gami

      Please pardon me if it seems to be a foolish question, but what is the difference between an Arahant in Nirodha Samapatti and an Asanna Brahma ? (since technically, no citta are flowing in both the cases)

      In other words, what is the difference between “Asanna” state and the state of “Sanna-vedayita nirodha” ? (since, sanna and vedana are not present in both the cases)

    • #38200

      Yes. An Asañña Brahma does not have any citta arising.

      The main difference is that Brahma will be reborn when the lifetime in that Brahma realm expires.
      – That is because not a single anusaya or a samyojana that binds to the rebirth process has been “broken” in an Asañña Brahma.

      But an Arahant will not be reborn after the death of the physical body.

    • #38203
      Sammasambodhi Gami

      Yes, of course an Asanna Brahma will be reborn after the expiration of his life span and an Arahant will not be reborn anywhere.

      So that’s it ? This is the only difference ?
      So can we say that an Asanna Brhama is “temporarily” free of ALL dukkha ? (as long as he is in Asanna state)

      So it seems that the Asanna state is a “temporary Nibbana” ?

      • #38208

        He is not free from viparinama dukkhā and sankhara dukkhā and dukkhā dukkhā.

        Noone except Arhant is free from that dukkhā.

        And Nibbanā is even higher release than assana realm existence.

        Buddha himself said that even highest jhanic pleasure of this world is not worth 1/16 of nibbanā.

        So, NO WAY,
        Experience of assana = nibbanā.

        • #38211
          Sammasambodhi Gami

          Yes, dear Dhamma friend. I know this. But I think you didn’t read the question properly.

          I said technically no citta are flowing in both the cases.

          I was asking that… is there a similarity between Asanna state and Sanna-vedayita nirodha since “sanna” and “vedana” and absent in both the cases.

          Yes, I agree with you that “Nibbanā is even higher release than asanna realm existence”.
          and “in NO WAY experience of Asanna = Nibbana”.

          You are correct.

    • #38206
      Sammasambodhi Gami

      or in other words… Parinibbana is a “permanent Asanna state” ?

      • #38207

        Nibbana has nothing of this world.

        Existence in assana realm is exhaustible with end of kammic energy sustaining it.
        One dying there, one may reborn anywhere unless any of eight ariya worthy achievement was had by that lifestream.

        Nibbanā ≠ Samsarā
        as claimed by some teachers.

        Four fundamental realities are cittā-cetasika-Rūpa-nibbanā.

        Former three are called saṅkhata. They are dangerous.

        Nibbanā is only asaṅkhata and true refuge.

        Former three (cittā, cetasika and Rūpa)
        And fourth one (nibbanā) are mutually exclusive.

        Nibbanā is complete absence of suffering after parinibbana. Eradication of suffering caused by samphassa-jā-vēdanā during last jati in case of Arhant.

    • #38209

      Nibbana is not a “permanent Asanna state”.
      – As LayDhammaFolower wrote above, “Nibbanā is the complete absence of suffering after parinibbana.”

      No asanna satta (or any other living being) is free from future suffering.
      – An Arahant is totally free from suffering after Parinibbana.

    • #38212
      Sammasambodhi Gami

      Thank you for the answers. Yes, of course, I know what you said above.
      I was just asking the technical similarities/differences.

      I am quoting an article about Nibbana written by Bhikkhu Bodhi, I hope it helps:

      …. “

        Is Nibbana mere annihilation?

      As a precaution we have to repeat that Nibbana cannot be understood through words or expressions or study of the text. One has to understand Nibbana by actual realization. However, in order to convey some idea of the goal to which his teaching points, the Buddha resorts to words and expressions. He uses both negative and positive expressions, and to get a balanced idea of Nibbana both types of expressions have to be considered. Otherwise you will come away with a one-sided, distorted picture of Nibbana.
      The Buddha speaks of Nibbana primarily by way of terms negating suffering: as cessation of suffering, cessation of old age and death, the unafflicted, the unoppressed ,the sorrowless state, and so forth.
      It is also described as the negation of the defilements, the mental factors that keep us in bondage. So Nibbana is described as the same as the destruction of greed, hatred and delusion. It is also called dispassion (viraga), the removal of thirst, the crushing of pride, the uprooting of conceit, the extinction of vanity.
      The purpose behind the Buddha’s negative terminology is to show that Nibbana is utterly transcendental and beyond all conditioned things; to show that Nibbana is desirable, that it is the end of all suffering, and to show that Nibbana is to be attained by eliminating defilements. The use of negative terminology should not be misunderstood to mean that Nibbana is mere annihilation, a pure negative attainment.
      To correct this one sided view, the Buddha also describes Nibbana in positive terms. He refers to Nibbana as the supreme happiness, perfect bliss, peace, serenity, liberation, freedom. He calls Nibbana ‘the island’, an island upon which beings can land, which is free from suffering. For those beings swept away helplessly towards the ocean of old age and death, it is a place of safety and security.
      It is also described as a “cave” which gives safety from the dangers of birth and death. Nibbana is called the “cool state” – coolness which results from the extinguishing of the fires of greed, hatred and delusion.

        Nibbana is an existing reality

      Regarding the nature of Nibbana, the question is often asked: Does Nibbana signify only extinction of the defilements and liberation from samsara or does it signify some reality existing in itself? Nibbana is not only the destruction of defilements and the end of samsara but a reality transcendent to the entire world of mundane experience, a reality transcendent to all the realms of phenomenal existence.
      The Buddha refers to Nibbana as a ‘dhamma’. For example, he says “of all dhammas, conditioned or unconditioned, the most excellent dhamma, the supreme dhamma is, Nibbana”. ‘Dhamma’ signifies actual realities, the existing realities as opposed to conceptual things. Dhammas are of two types, conditioned and unconditioned. A conditioned dhamma is an actuality which has come into being through causes or conditions, something which arises through the workings of various conditions. The conditioned dhammas are the five aggregates: material form, feeling, perception, mental formations and consciousness. The conditioned dhammas do not remain static. They go through a ceaseless process of becoming. They arise, undergo transformation and fall away due to its conditionality.
      However, the unconditioned dhamma is not produced by causes and conditions. It has the opposite characteristics from the conditioned: it has no arising, no falling away and it undergoes no transformation. Nevertheless, it is an actuality, and the Buddha refers to Nibbana as an unconditioned Dhamma.
      The Buddha also refers to Nibbana as an ‘ayatana’. This means realm, plane or sphere. It is a sphere where there is nothing at all that corresponds to our mundane experience, and therefore it has to be described by way of negations as the negation of all the limited and determinate qualities of conditioned things.
      The Buddha also refers to Nibbana as a ‘dhatu,’ an element, the ‘deathless element’ (amata-dhatu). He compares the element of Nibbana to an ocean. He says that just as the great ocean remains at the same level no matter how much water pours into it from the rivers, without increase or decrease, so the Nibbana element remains the same, no matter whether many or few people attain Nibbana.
      He also speaks of Nibbana as something that can be experienced by the body, an experience that is so vivid, so powerful, that it can be described as “touching the deathless element with one’s own body.”
      The Buddha also refers to Nibbana as a ‘state’ (pada), as ‘amatapada’ – the deathless state – or ‘accutapada’, the imperishable state.
      Another word used by the Buddha to refer to Nibbana is ‘sacca’, which means ‘truth’, an existing reality. This refers to Nibbana as the truth, a reality that the Noble Ones have known through direct experience.
      So all these terms, considered as a whole, clearly establish that Nibbana is an actual reality and not the mere destruction of defilements or the cessation of existence. Nibbana is unconditioned, without any origination and is timeless….”

    • #38216

      Yes. I realized that.

      In fact, there are realms where there is not only “no suffering” but there is “optimum sensual pleasures”. That is the highest Deva realm, Paranimmita Vasavattī Deva. See, “31 Realms of Existence.”
      – Mara Devaputta (we normally call “Mara”) is in that realm. He is enjoying the highest possible “sensual pleasures.” So, he does not understand why anyone would want to attain Nibbana. He wants everyone to engage in moral deeds and be born in his realm.
      – The only problem is that his life, even though long, is not eternal! At some point in the future, he may end up in an apaya.

      P.S. I see that you have added some descriptions of Nibbana by Bhikkhu Bodhi.
      – Another point is there is no “person” attaining Nibbana. That is the wrong view of sakkaya ditthi; see, “Sakkāya Diṭṭhi – Wrong View of “Me” and “Mine”
      – When causes are removed, rebirth will stop, and thus no possibility of future suffering.

    • #38218

      The following post is from C. Saket:

      Asanna state is like a coma, unconscious, lifeless, no citta…

      An Asanna Brahma has all the asavas remaining, hidden. Whereas Nibbana is attained by permanently removing all the defilements, asavas.

      However technically speaking, in both cases of “Asanna” state and “Nirodha Samapatti”, sanna and vedana are absent.

      But that is the only similarity between the two.

      There is a huge difference between an Asanna Brahma and the state of Arahant after death (Parinibbana).

      Parnibbana is nothing like Asanna. It cannot be described by using rupa, citta and cetasikas at all !!! It is beyond this world!!!

      To illustrate this error of regarding Nibbana as sheer nothingness, some Buddhist monks relate the story of the turtle and the fish. There was once a turtle who lived in a lake with a group of fish. One day
      the turtle went for a walk on dry land. He was away from the lake for a few weeks. When he returned he met some of the fish. The fish asked him, “Mister turtle, hello! How are you? We have not seen you
      for a few weeks. Where have you been? The turtle said, “I was up on the land, I have been spending some time on dry land.” The fish were a little puzzled and they said, “Up on dry land? What are you
      talking about? What is this dry land? Is it wet?” The turtle said “No, it is not,” “Is it cool and refreshing?” “No, it is not”, “Does it have waves and ripples?” “No, it does not have waves and ripples.” “Can you
      swim in it?” “No you can’t” So the fish said, “it is not wet, it is not cool, there are no waves, you can’t swim in it. So this dry land of yours must be completely non-existent, just an imaginary thing, nothing
      real at all.” The turtle said that “Well, may be so” and he left the fish and went for another walk on dry land.

      In the Asaṅkhata Saṁyutta (SN 43) Lord Buddha uses various synonyms for Nibbana:


      This clearly shows that Nibbana is nothing like Asanna.

      Nibbana exists as an UNCONDITIONAL ELEMENT and it is beyond all our experiences of this world of 31 realms.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #38246

        In the Asaṅkhata Saṁyutta (SN 43) Lord Buddha uses various synonyms for Nibbana:


        Can we have translation of this words if possible, that would be much helpful.

        Thank you.

    • #38219

      Yes. That is a good description. There are many ways to express it.

      1. Everything in this world is a sankhata, with a FINITE lifetime. That lifetime may have both sukha and dukkha.
      – Living beings spend most of their Samsaric journey in realms filled with much more suffering.
      – Rebirth in realms with more sukha is rare. Furthermore, it does not last.

      2. Rebirth in the 31 realms occurs according to Paticca Samuppada. It WILL NOT stop until the root causes (lobha, dosa, moha) are not there.
      – Nibbana is realized (i.e., rebirth stops) with the removal of all root causes.
      – The way to remove the root causes is the Noble Eightfold Path, starting with Samma Ditthi.
      – Samma Ditthi is to “see” the truth of the above description. That is the beginning of the Path.

    • #38226

      Looking from the perspective of the 4 ultimate realities, as LayDhammaFollower pointed out:


      … I wonder if we can think of the technical similarities / differences like this:

      asanna realm = rupā only, no nibbanā
      and rupā = hadaya vatthu + cakkhu pasada rupa + sota pasada rupa, from what we learned about brahmā in the rupavacara realms.

      … and although there are hadaya vatthu and 2 pasada rupā, no cittā and cetasikā arise from them.

      sannavedayita nirodha samapatti = rupa (jīvitindriya) + nibbanā

      So, in either case there are no vedana and sanna, and the similarity stops here. Asanna realm is fully in this world of 31 realms; nirodha samapatti is in “between” this world and parinibbana.

      Another speculation about the difference between the 2:

      Elsewhere on the site we have likened asanna realm as being under anesthesia. When we wake from anesthesia we don’t remember anything, as if that time didn’t exist. I unfortunately knew this quite well, since I had been “under” the knife a number of times in my life; no recollection whatsoever of what happened in between.

      On the other hand, if an aharant got into nirodha samapatti, for any duration, I doubt that he/she would EVER forget it. There must be some quality of “wakefulness” in this “experience”.


    • #38227

      One more note, as LayDhammaFollower wrote:

      Nibbanā ≠ Samsarā
      as claimed by some teachers.

      I see this more often than not in Mahayana teaching; my native country is mostly Mahayana.

      A couple of years ago, Lal pointed out a discussion on this topic on Sutta Central, so it may have crept into Theravada as well.

      Nibbāna === saṃsāra?

    • #38229

      Lang’s comments:

      1. Asanna realm: Yes. The asanna satta has hadaya vatthu and pasada rupā (i.e., manomaya kaya). But it is inside a “physical body” that has no eyes, ears,.. or brain. That means the manomaya kaya is unable to contact the outside world. Thus, no citta can arise.

      2. When an Arahant is in sannavedayita nirodha samapatti, the physical body is maintained by rupa jīvitindriya (kammic energy) but no sensory contacts are made. There it is the mind that “shuts off” external arammana.
      – To get there an Arahant must systematically go to the fourth jhana, arupavacara samapatti, and then to sannavedayita nirodha samapatti.

      3. Rest of the first comment is correct.

      4. I am not sure what you mean in the second comment.
      – Of course, Nibbana is NOT Samsara.
      – Samsara is the rebirth process. To get to Nibbana one must attain Arahanthood. At the death of the physical body the Arahant (Parinibbana), Sansaric process ends, and Nibbana is complete.
      – In the language of mathematics, Nibbana and Samsara (living in this world) are mutually exclusive. After the Parinibbana, an Arahant is totally disengaged from this world, i.e., no longer in Samsara or the rebirth process.

    • #38230

      Thank you, Lal.

      The second comment was just a brief addition to LayDhammaFollower’s passing comment about nibbana and samsara.

    • #38251

      LayDhammaFollower asked above (in response to a comment by C.Saket):

      In the Asaṅkhata Saṁyutta (SN 43) Lord Buddha uses various synonyms for Nibbana:


      Can we have translation of this words if possible, that would be much helpful.


      1. I think I mentioned this before too. Please don’t just REPLY to an old comment. Then your comment ends up “hidden” among old comments. Just make your comment at the end of the thread. If needed you can refer to an old comment, give the name of the commenter and quote a paragraph from there.

      2. Can C. Saket provide a link to the specific sutta with that quote or at least provide the name of the sutta? Please always try to do that. Otherwise, others have to waste time looking for specific references.

    • #38252

      OK. I found it. It is a series of suttas. You can get the translations of those terms in the English translation below.

      Anāsavādi Suttas (SN 43.14-43)

    • #38818

      Can somebody link me the source sutta where it says that nirodha samapatti is just like parinibbana?

    • #38822

      Why do you need a sutta for that?

      In both cases, one gets to the same state.
      – In the case of Parinibbana of an Arahant, one would not be born in this world. There is no anusaya in mind and no flow of citta vithi.
      – In the case of nirodha samapatti, the characteristics are the same (no anusaya and no flow of citta vithi), but it is effective only for up to seven days maximum. Then the Arahant “goes back to living” the rest of his/her life until the kammic energy for the life runs out. At the end of life, we can say it is “permanent nirodha samapatti.”

    • #38829

      Lal, I was being curious where you got this from (nirodha samapatti = parinibbana)

      In this post Nirōdha Samāpatti, Phala Samāpatti, Jhāna, and Jhāna Samāpatti you stated:

      Nirōdha samāpatti is succinctly described in a verse in the Mahāve­dalla Sutta (MN 43), where the difference between a dead body and the body of one in nirōdha samāpatti is described

      So my question to you is: Do you think Nirodha samapatti is just like parinibbana because of this sutta: Mahāve­dalla Sutta (MN 43), and do you think that is so because nirodha samapatti is being closely related to a dead body (no sankhara), or did you get this from another source?

    • #38830

      That sutta provides the correct description.

      The difference between a dead body and the body of an Arahant in nirodha samapatti is the following:
      – The dead body is “really dead.” It does not have a pulse or body temperature; the body becomes cold.
      – The physical body of an Arahant in nirodha samapatti does not have a pulse either. But the body temperature is maintained by kammic energy.

      That is the description in the sutta.
      – But, if one understands the concept of nirodha samapatti, there is no need to look for a sutta.

    • #38846

      May be we should discuss the concept of “nirodha samapatti” in more detail if it is unclear.
      – That will help get the correct idea of Nibbana (particularly Parinibbana of an Arahant).

      Please read the following post and ask questions if not clear:
      Nirōdha Samāpatti, Phala Samāpatti, Jhāna, and Jhāna Samāpatti

    • #38848

      Thanks for the post Lal, I read it again and I think things are clear now.
      But the link you posted actually doesn’t lead to the post (it leads to this forum thread)
      Please fix it so other people can open the post :)

    • #38849

      Thanks, Zapper.
      – I fixed the link.

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