Observations placeholder

Asvaghosha - The Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana - What is nirvana



Type of Spiritual Experience


The keys to purification and reaching the latter stages of the spiritual path are based on the removal of erroneous beliefs and inaccurate memories.  Relearning as well as simply wiping clean.

The purification of memory is according to Acvagosha [and most other systems] one of the most important tasks facing a person at the latter stages of the spiritual path, everything has to be questioned - everything.

As D T Suzuki says, there is the erroneous belief that some states of 'emptiness' - usually out of time -  achieved during meditation are Nirvana.  This is absolutely incorrect.  Totally incorrect.  And in fact meditation at this stage is unhelpful as work is needed - activity - to achieve this stage

A description of the experience

Asvaghosha - The Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana translated by D T Suzuki

As ignorance is removed, the mind is no more disturbed so as to be subject to individuation. As the mind is no more disturbed, the particularisation of the surrounding world is removed. When in this wise the principle and the condition of defilement, their products, and the mental disturbances are all removed, it is said that we attain to Nirvana and that various spontaneous displays of activity are accomplished.

Note by DT Suzuki:  Note that Nirvana is not inactivity or nothingness as commonly supposed.  It is according to Acvaghosha, the annihilation of the ego

The source of the experience


Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Suppressing memory