Moksa/Nirvana

Viktoria Lyssenko vglyssenko at YANDEX.RU
Mon Mar 22 03:01:24 EDT 2010


Dear Mary,
In my opinion, the meanings of the both largerly overlap in signifying the release from samsara, and in no way the belief in soul/no soul does determine the difference between them as the word nirvana was used not only in Buddhism but in other traditions, like Jainism and Ajivika, especially during the sramana period. The term moksha may seem  more litteral (moksha from the root muc - to let loose) while nirvana more metaphorical (nirvana means "blowing out [the fire of passions]"), but, in the final analysis, both are metaphorical as their sense is quite different from that in the ordinary usus (vyavahara). Still there is a difference in nuances: nirvana puts to the fore the state of overcoming the affects (klesha, nivarana, avarana) and the tranquil state of mind which is rather associated with the absence of suffering then with the state of bliss (ananda), while moksha underlines the release from the burden of samsara as such which does not determine the character of this state - it may be either bliss (ananda) as in the majority of schools or absence of sufferings as in Vaisheshika .
Victoria Lysenko
Russian Academy of sciences

22.03.10, 10:58, "Mary Storm" <mnstorm at MAC.COM>:

> Dear Indologists,
>  
>  I wonder if someone could clarify for me the nuances between the  
>  meaning of moksa and nirvana? Do both imply release from samsara?  It  
>  seems as if a belief in soul/no soul has to determine the meaning and  
>  I know the meanings change over the centuries.... but some quick  
>  insights would be very welcome.
>  
>  Apologies for such a broad question.
>  
>  Thanks so much for your thoughts!
>  
>  Mary
>  
>  Mary N. Storm, Ph.D.
>  Academic Director and Lecturer
>  India: National Identity and the Arts
>  and
>  Himalayan Buddhist Art and Architecture
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