No Existential Residues In Parinibbaana
- Dear Pali Friends
The following is an updated reply to a recent request of Robert
Kirkpatrick regarding an untranslated Paali passage he found in Pali
Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary. It is a translation of a
Paali Atthakathaa passage on the topic of 'Parinibbaana'. As PTS
dictionary hasn't translated it yet, you may well be reading the
first translation of the Paali passage in question.
Dear Robert Kirkpatrick
How are you?
The follwoing quote from Section 89, Dhammapada Atthakathaa clearly
tells us that there is no consciousness component in Parinibbaana
after the death of an Arahant.
I tried my best to provide as lateral a translation as possible -
syntatically in particular - while making sure that the readers can
read as natural English as possible. If you found any unclear points
in the translation, please let me know. My present translation has
been influenced by Nibbaanadhaatu Sutta Atthakathaa in Itivutta
"Parinibbutaa naama arahattapattito patthaaya kilesavattassa
khepitattaa sa-upaadisesena, carimacittanirodhena khandhavattassa
khepitattaa anupaadisesena caati dviihi parinibbaanehi
parinibbutaa, anupaadaano viya padiipo apannattikabhaavaam gataati
"`Parinibbutaa' is the ultimate cool by means of two-way complete
extinguishments, one with the existential residues emptied of
defilement machinery ever since attainment of Arahatta awakening, and
the other without the existential residues emptied of psychophysical
machinery by termination of the last mind (the dying consciousness).
It has the meaning of reaching the state of the undefined reality
like the lamp without fuel."
Parinibbaana - complete extinguishment
Kilesavatta - defilement machinery (vatta is literally circle, cycle,
or round. We have 'Vicious Circle' in English.)
Khandhavatta - psychophysical machinery
Apannattikabhaavo - the state of undefined reality
Upaadiseso - existential residues (upaadi is merely another name of
pancakkhadhaa). Upaadi means phenomena taken strongly by craving or
As such, we can know for sure that Anupaadisesa Nibbaana is emptied
of the five khandhaas. Therefore, after the death of an Arahant, the
scenario of nibbaana having the consciousness component
(viññaanakkhandho) is out of the question. There is no textual
support for such a scenario.
Suan Lu Zaw