The Non-Abiding Nirvana of Mahayana Buddhism

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Dharma Flower
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Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:03 am

The Non-Abiding Nirvana of Mahayana Buddhism

Post by Dharma Flower » Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:31 am

At the local Vietnamese Mahayana temple, there is a plaque on the temple grounds which emphasizes the importance of practicing mindfulness and righteous conduct at all times to attain Nirvana.

It does not say that one should avoid Nirvana, which is a common misconception about Mahayana Buddhism. The Nirvana which a Mahayana Buddhist seeks is called non-abiding Nirvana:
Thubten Thardo (Gareth Sparham) states: “The term “non-abiding nirvāṇa” indicates that a fully awakened buddha is utterly free from saṃsāra, yet due to compassion has not entered into a more restricted form of nirvāṇa that precludes continued activity within the world.”
Since the Bodhisattva sees beyond the duality between Nirvana and samsara, he/she is able to attain Nirvana while also remaining in the world after death, rather than simply transcending the world.

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