Dhamma Letter No. 56

What is Nibbana(Nirvana): the ultimate happiness?

What is Nibbana(Nirvana): the ultimate happiness? (see dhamma letter No.23)

Most Buddhist have the goal to experience nibbana in this current life.

When I ask them what nibbana is, however, they can’t answer, their answer is ambiguous, or it's a conceptual perception.

The Buddha described the Nibbana clearly: The state of No defilements. 

Then, what are the causes of defilements?

They are the Three Poisons which are lobha (greed), dosa (aversion), and moha (delusion). (dhamma letter No. 11)

- What should we practice to get rid of those unwholesome minds?

The 3 teachings and practices in Buddhism are

  1. Sīla (Morality),

  2. Samadhī (Tranquility-dhamma letter No. 6), and

  3. Paññā (Wisdom/Understanding- dhamma letter No.3) which leads to purifying the mind from these 3 poisons.

See previous dhamma letters for more understanding. (No. 2, No.10, No. 30)

- How did Buddha describe Nibbana in other ways?
1. Suññata (emptiness)
2. Animita (no object/sign/imagination)
3. Appanihita (no wanting)

And another word to express these states of experience is Asankhara (no volition) and the state of no conditions. Sankhara (activities by body, mouth and mind) is one of 5 aggregates as observing non-self and knowing that.


One who has the goal of Nibbana in this life can check for the qualities of that state of mind with the descriptions by Buddha. One can progress in one’s practice with this knowledge.

May you understand dhamma and practice for your happiness!
May you practice during your lifetime in silā, samadhī and paññā!
May your practice be a cause for the condition of Nibbana!

With Metta,

Ayyā Kosallā & Mahāpajāpatī Bhikkhunī Sangha
Edited by Euna Bonovich 


If you have any questions related to dhamma & meditation, please feel free to ask. You can reach Ayya Kosalla directly at Bhikkhuni.Kosalla@gmail.com . 

법에 대한 질문이 있으신 분은 위의 이메일 주소로 질문을 남겨주세요.

위빠사나명상의 마음관찰에 대한 논문을 한글 원본으로 읽고 싶으신 분은 클릭해서 다운로드 받을 수 있습니다. (네이버에 PDF 첨부)

The Korean Dhamma Letter is here 담마레터.


Mahapajapati Monastery www.mahapajapati.org

For monastery updates, please see Mahapajapati’s Facebook.

Donate to Mahapajapati

Buddha Sāsanaṁ Ciraṁ Tiṭṭhatu! 
May the Buddha’s teachings last a long time!

​Bhavatu Sabba Sotiṁ ca Maṅgalaṁ ca!!  
May everyone be led on the path of peace and blessing!!

Sādhu Sādhu Sādhu !