Nirvana: Concept, Imagery, Narrative
The idea of nirvana (Pali nibbāna) is alluring but elusive for non-specialists and specialists alike. Offering his own interpretation of key texts, Steven Collins explains the idea in a new, accessible way - as a concept, as an image (metaphor), and as an element in the process of narrating both linear and cyclical time. Exploring nirvana from literary and philosophical perspectives, he argues that it has a specific role: to provide 'the sense of an ending' in both the systematic and the narrative thought of the Pali imaginaire. Translations from a number of texts, including some dealing with past and future Buddhas, enable the reader to access source material directly. This book will be essential reading for students of Buddhism, but will also have much to teach anyone concerned with Asia and its religions, or indeed anyone with an interest in the ideas of eternal life or timelessness.
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aeons Aggregates Arahant ascetic assuredly attain omniscience attained nirvana ayatana body Brahmins Buddhahood Buddhavamsa Buddhist texts called cessation chapter closure concept Conditioning Factors Conqueror consciousness death Deﬁlements deﬁnition Dependent Origination Dhamma difﬁcult Dipankara discourse discussed Eight-fold Path enlightened person Enlightenment escape from samsara eternity ﬁerce ﬁlled ﬁnal nirvana ﬁnd ﬁre ﬁrst ﬁrst person ﬁve Five Aggregates ﬂowers Four Noble Truths further shore future Buddhas gods Gotama happiness heaven Hinduism human imagery immortality impermanence individual inﬁnite kind live means meditation mental metaphors Metteyya monk narrative thought nihhana nirvana exists non-repetitive ocean one’s Pali imaginaire Pali texts Path Perfections quenching Rapture rebirth reborn refers reﬂection relics remainder of attachment repetition Saketa Sanskrit Sariputta sense Sense-Bases sequence soteriology speciﬁc story suffering Sumedha Sutta systematic and narrative systematic thought Tathagata Teaching temporal term textual timeless tion tradition translated Truth unconditioned universe Vacchagotta vamsa verb verse Vipassi words