What the Nikayas Say and Do not Say about Nibbana


  • Bhikkhu Brahmāli Bodhinyana Buddhist Monastery, Perth, Australia




Nikāyas, Nibbāna


The only way of moving towards consensus on the controversial subject of the nature of Nibbana is by appealing to the sole source of authority common to practically all Buddhists: the Nikayas/Agamas. In the present paper I will first give an overview of the usage of the term Nibbana in the Nikayas. I will then argue that, according to the Nikayas, Nibbana cannot be regarded as a self. Next, I will point out that the Nikayas do not see Nibbana as a form of consciousness, including such exceptional kinds of consciousness as anidassana viññana and appatitthita viññana. Nor can Nibbana be regarded as equivalent to mind, or any particular state of mind. In the final section I aim to show that the most reasonable interpretation of the Nikayas is that final Nibbana is no more than the cessation of the five khandhas.

Author Biography

Bhikkhu Brahmāli, Bodhinyana Buddhist Monastery, Perth, Australia

Bodhinyana Buddhist Monastery, Perth, Australia


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How to Cite

Brahmāli, B. (2009). What the Nikayas Say and Do not Say about Nibbana. Buddhist Studies Review, 26(1), 33–66. https://doi.org/10.1558/bsrv.v26i1.33