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Buddhadharma : Spring 2016
spring 2 0 1 6 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 37 However, in another sense, nibbana may be further divided into two types as follows: with residue remaining (sa-upadisesa)—this is the nibbana of an arahant, one who has completely extinguished all mental defilements but still experiences the “resi- due” of the aggregates as a result of past craving, clinging, and volitional actions; and without residue remaining (anupadisesa)—this is the nibbana of an arahant who has passed away, that is, after entering parinibbana, and refers to the complete cessation of all conditioned phenomena. The Buddha explained these two types of nib- bana as follows: Bhikkhus, there are these two Nibbana-elements. What are the two? The Nibbana-element with residue left and the Nibbana-element with no residue left. What, bhikkhus, is the Nibbana-element with residue left? Here a bhikkhu is an arahant, one whose taints are destroyed, the holy life fulfilled, who has done what had to be done, laid down the burden, attained the goal, destroyed the fetters of being, completely released through final knowledge. However, his five sense faculties remain unimpaired, by which he still experiences what is agreeable and disagreeable and feels pleasure and pain. It is the extinction of attachment, hate, and delusion in him that is called the Nibbana-element with residue left. Now what, bhikkhus, is the Nibbana-element with no residue left? Here a bhikkhu is an arahant ... completely released through final knowledge. For him, here in this very life, all that is experienced, not being delighted in, will be extinguished. That, bhikkhus, is called the Nibbana-element with no residue left. —Udana In the first section of this passage that describes nibbana with residue left, a living arahant is said to have “laid down the burden” of the five aggre- gates, even though one still possesses a mind and body. This is because they are one’s last aggregates, and no more will arise, so we can say that they have effectively set down the burden of the five aggregates. courtesytheartistandrossi&rossi Alone, Exhausted and Asleep, Tenzing Rigdol, 2010, Brocade, collage, and scripture