Two elements of Nibbana

Now the attainment of Nibbana comes in two stages, the two referred to as the two elements of Nibbana. One is the Nibbana element with the residue remaining.The other the Nibbana element without the residue remaining. The element of Nibbana with residue remaining is the state of Nibbana attained by the arahat (the liberated one) in this present life. Namely, the extinction of greed, hatred and ignorance and of all other defilements. The residue that remains in the arhant is the five aggregates that constitute his present life individuality, the psycho - physical organism produced from the past life. Upon attainment of Nibbana, his body and mind continue until the end of the life span.

The second stage of the attainment of Nibbana is called the Nibbana element without a residue remaining. This is the element of Nibbana attained by an Arahant with his passing away, with the breakup of his body, what we conventionally call death.

The passing away of an Arahant is the final and complete passing out from conditioned existence. It does not lead to a new birth. In his own experience, the Arahant sees only the cessation of a process, not the death of a self. The experience for him is without subjective significance, without reference to 'Me or Mine'. At this stage the residue of the five aggregates comes to an end.

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