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nibbana and suffering

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  • nibbana and suffering

    dear venerables,

    as i understand it, the buddha and arahats still felt pain, cold, heat, hunger, and tiredness. so, does that mean achieving nibbana does not end suffering as long as you have a body?

    how can you end craving or aversion if you still feel pain etc. did the buddha not rest to avoid exacerbating his back pain, or eat to avoid hunger?

    would it be true to say that only the suffering caused by the belief in self, the second arrow, can be ended while alive, and the only way to avoid physical suffering is to avoid rebirth?


    with great respect, michael

  • #2
    Dear Michael,

    In the Buddha's doctrine there is nibbana (the end of rebirth) and parinibbana (the final cessation of the process of existance). It is not just the belief in a self that is overcome with nibbana, but all mental suffering. It is possible to have pain without craving and aversion. Indeed the 3rd noble truth states that it is just this craving that is abandoned when nibbana is reached. You suffer, but you don't grasp your suffering. You don't wish for things that will bring you more suffering. Indeed the Buddha only remained in samsara to teach out of compassion for the world.

    Does this help?

    With metta,

    Bhante Jhanarato

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