THE DHARMA DISCOURSES O...

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THE DHARMA DISCOURSES OF CARDINAL MASTER CHŎNGSAN(CHŎNGSAN CHONGSA PŎBŎ)

Part One: The Canon of Secular Life

Chapter Nine: Nirvāṇa

1. On Nirvāṇa

Nirvāṇa translates as “clear-and-round and tranquil.” “Clear-and-round” refers to that state in which our self-nature is originally perfect and complete and utterly impartial and selfless. “Tranquil” refers to that state in which our self-nature is originally undisturbed and free from defilements. When a person awakens to this Way of the self-nature, thereby recovering the self-nature’s original state—this is what is meant by nirvāṇa. To fortify that state and never deviate from the self-nature so that one is gratified by ultimate bliss—this is what is meant by gaining the bliss of nirvāṇa.
However, very few people in this world attain the true bliss of nirvāṇa and are consistently gratified by consummate quiescence; hence, the Buddhist order nominally refers to a person’s death as nirvāṇa. Even though the very same term nirvāṇa is employed, there are those who actually enter nirvāṇa by fully realizing the fundamental truth, while there are many whose physical bodies enter nirvāṇa but their false conditioning has not come to rest, and thus they have not attained true nirvāṇa. Therefore, practitioners should each day train well in the Way of nirvāṇa, so that they may be fully gratified by the bliss of nirvāṇa even while they are alive, and attain true nirvāṇa upon the nirvāṇa of their physical bodies.