What is Nirvana
Nirvana in Buddhism is a state of living when mind remains free from unsatisfactory experiences in life like desire, jealousy, ignorance and lust or worldly cravings. Nirvana is the meeting of two words-‘Nir’ meaning freedom and ‘vana’ denotes path of rebirth. The mind and soul remain in complete peace and solitude, which the Buddhists Nirvanas in India, call as Enlightenment. In Buddhism, Nirvana means extinguishing or unbinding, achieving which, one can experience the ultimate and eternal state of spiritual happiness. With all karmic debts settled, one need not have to undergo the cycle of birth and death again.
After experiencing Nirvana himself, he began to teach others that if the path to Enlightenment is followed sincerely they too could experience the state of Nirvana. So, when he died forty-five years later he passed through the Pari Nirvana or the complete Nirvana. Thousands made a Buddhist tour to India to learn and follow his teachings with sincerity.
Lord Buddha attained the state of Nirvana after his Enlightenment. As Lord Buddha proceeded on the path of Enlightenment he could remember all his previous lives. In Buddhism, life is regarded as a 'Samsara', meaning endless roaming of the soul as reincarnations rather than rebirths as it does not follow the law of causality or dependant origination. The ideology of Buddhism in India is to break away the continuous circle of Samsara to reach the level of Nirvana.
In Mahayana Buddhism, Nirvana contradicts the Samsara theory. The Nirvana experience cannot be felt by all the six senses (Eye, Ear, Nose, Tongue, Body and Mind).
Nirvana in Mahaparinirvana Sutra
The Nirvana in Mahaparinirvana has a different feature. Mahayana focuses on the ultimate of all Mahayana Sutras, delivered by Buddha on the last day of his life. In Mahayana, Nirvana deals with a positive outlook. Nirvana or “Great Nirvana” is illustrated as the realm (vishava) of the True Self. It is only that ultimate state, which helps to accomplish the “Eternal, the Self, Bliss and the Pure”.
Eightfold path to Nirvana
Nirvana emphasizes on the Eightfold path to achieve Nirvana, which includes Cessation (Nirodha), Loveliness/Wholesomeness (Subha), Truth (Satya), Reality (Tattya), Eternity (Nitva), Bliss (Sukha), Self (Atma) and Complete Purity (Parisuddhi).