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Nirvana   /nɪrvˈɑnə/  /nərvˈɑnə/   Listen
Nirvana

noun
1.
(Hinduism and Buddhism) the beatitude that transcends the cycle of reincarnation; characterized by the extinction of desire and suffering and individual consciousness.  Synonym: enlightenment.
2.
Any place of complete bliss and delight and peace.  Synonyms: Eden, heaven, paradise, promised land, Shangri-la.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Nirvana" Quotes from Famous Books



... a little voice calling: "Daddy, come out! Daddy darling, you must! Daddy come out and help Molly pick daisies!" And, since one's here, and the Spring's in the garden (How many lives hence will that thought earn pardon?) Since one's a man and man's heart is insistent, And, since Nirvana is doubtful and distant, Though life's a hard road and thorny to travel— Stones in the borders and grass on the gravel, Still there's the wisdom that wise men call folly, Still one can go ...
— The Rainbow and the Rose • E. Nesbit

... all. The buoy, with its flaming torch, had drifted far to leeward, and the lookout could do no more than follow its fainting light as the dark of the tropics closed in. An hour the Noa-Noa lay gently heaving upon the mysterious waters in which the despairing pundit had sought Nirvana, until the boat returned with a report that it had picked up the buoy, but had seen no sign of the man. Doubtless he had been swept into the propellers, but if not quickly given release in their ...
— Mystic Isles of the South Seas. • Frederick O'Brien

... exist, and which only a presumptuous form of religion has ventured to treat as transitory or insignificant. Let me use a technical word, and say that it is no pantheistic absorption in an impersonal Light, no Nirvana of union with a vague whole, which the Apostle holds out here, but it is the closest possible union, personality being saved and individual consciousness being intensified. It is the clothing of humanity with so much of that glory as can be imparted to a finite creature. ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture: Romans Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V) • Alexander Maclaren

... contrition trickled from beneath his horn spectacles, "she made me worship her! For first she asked me of my faith and listened eagerly as I expounded it, hoping that the light would come into her heart; then, after I had finished she said—"'So your Path is Renunciation and your Nirvana a most excellent Nothingness which some would think it scarce worth while to strive so hard to reach. Now I will show you a more joyous way and a goddess more ...
— Ayesha - The Further History of She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed • H. Rider Haggard

... Schopenhauers, the Hartmanns, and all the Buddhists, say that the greatest happiness is Nirvana, Non-Life; and they are right in this sense,—that human happiness is coincident with the annihilation of 'Self.' Only they do not express themselves well. They say that Humanity should annihilate itself to avoid its sufferings, that its object ...
— The Kreutzer Sonata and Other Stories • Leo Tolstoy

... dinner. This completely upset the presiding genius of my culinary department, as she could not give us the bounteous feast she knew was expected on such occasions. I, as usual, when there was any lack in the viands, tried to be as brilliant as possible in conversation; discussing Nirvana, Karma, reincarnation, and thus turning attention from the evanescent things of earth to the joys of a life to come,—not an easy feat to perform with strong-minded women,—but, in parting, they seemed happy and refreshed, and all ...
— Eighty Years And More; Reminiscences 1815-1897 • Elizabeth Cady Stanton

... translation, I was called to China, and there put to rendering the Thirty-five Discourses of the father of the Budhisattwa into Chinese and Thibettan. I also published a version of the Lotus of the Good Law, and another of the Nirvana. These brought me a great honor. To an ancestor of mine, Maha Kashiapa, Buddha happened to have intrusted his innermost mysteries—that is, he made him Keeper of the Pure Secret of the Eye of Right Doctrine. Behold the ...
— The Prince of India - Or - Why Constantinople Fell - Volume 1 • Lew. Wallace

... Out to the western sky still bright with noon, I feel well spurred and booted for the strife That ends not till Nirvana is attained. ...
— Poems of Power • Ella Wheeler Wilcox

... not have time, however, to act on this encouragement. He wrote now and then a dialect poem which was printed in the Georgia dailies and attracted attention by its humor and its insight into contemporary life, and occasionally an exquisite lyric like "Nirvana". In the main he ...
— Sidney Lanier • Edwin Mims

... do or to see, then he became master of himself and conducted himself accordingly. Contemplation, accompanied by a cigarette, was now his chief good. What his meditations were no one knew, but they sufficed unto himself. He had attained Nirvana. He lived in a region of ...
— Prince Fortunatus • William Black

... The peace of Nirvana lay upon the land, and, brooding in it, my elbow on the warm iron girder of the footbridge (it is a forty-shilling fine to cross by any other means), I perceived, as never before, how the consequences of our acts run eternal through time and ...
— The Day's Work, Volume 1 • Rudyard Kipling

... on a recognition of the inevitable taint of this world, of the implication of evil in life. To avoid this taint, the all-real-and-all-good must be freed even from existence. It can be conceived and attained only by denial. Nirvana is at once the all-real, the all-good, and—in ...
— The Moral Economy • Ralph Barton Perry

... talked with magnificent vehemence for twenty minutes, his theme being some theory of his own that the individuality of a soul is immortal, and that even in perfection, the soul cannot possibly merge into any Nirvana. Meantime, I wondered how Mr. Percy was employing his time, but after one or two ineffectual attempts to interrupt, I gave myself to silence until ...
— The Guest of Quesnay • Booth Tarkington

... succeeded in controlling his mind and senses is such that its like can never be obtained through Exertion or Destiny.[620] United with such felicity, he continues to take a pleasure in the act of meditation. Even in this way yogins attain to Nirvana which ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 - Books 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 • Unknown

... the sorrows in a divine peace—a peace that became the reward of all disciples of the religion that he founded. This peace was called by him Nirvana and his disciples say he is the only man who attained it in his lifetime, for Nirvana is supposed to come only to the spirits of the dead, who have purified themselves not in one life, but in many. In Buddha's belief (for as Buddha we shall now know him), human beings live many times ...
— A Treasury of Heroes and Heroines - A Record of High Endeavour and Strange Adventure from 500 B.C. to 1920 A.D. • Clayton Edwards

... pass over into Nirvana I must relate what I saw in the country of the Christians. It was not a dream. It was too real. And yet it is to be, for it has not yet happened. The Campagna was now become a shallow lake from the sea almost to the Sabine Mountains. What had been Rome was a black waste spot, full of stones and ...
— Visionaries • James Huneker

... to make drunk. The Nirvana of the Nahuas was for the soul to lie in dense smoke and darkness, filled with utter content, and free from all impressions ("en lo profundo de contento y obscuridad," Tezozomoc, ...
— Ancient Nahuatl Poetry - Brinton's Library of Aboriginal American Literature Number VII. • Daniel G. Brinton

... suffering, both mental and physical: he experiences it himself, he inflicts it upon others; (ii) that this suffering is occasioned by desire; (iii) that the condition of suffering in which man finds himself admits of amelioration and relief; (iv) the way of release, and the attainment to Nirvana. ...
— Religion in Japan • George A. Cobbold, B.A.

... by rule to move into a certain part of their monastery, known as the Abode of a Long Old Age, in which they are required—not to die, for death does not come to a good priest, but—to enter into Nirvana, which is a sublime state of conscious freedom from all mental and physical disturbance, not to be adequately described in words. At death, the priest is placed in a chair, his chin supported by a crutch, and then put into a wooden box, which on the appointed day is carried in procession, ...
— The Civilization Of China • Herbert A. Giles

... negativeness &c adj.; nullity; nihility^, nihilism; tabula rasa [Lat.], blank; abeyance; absence &c 187; no such thing &c 4; nonbeing, nothingness, oblivion. annihilation; extinction &c (destruction) 162; extinguishment, extirpation, Nirvana, obliteration. V. not exist &c 1; have no existence &c 1; be null and void; cease to exist &c 1; pass away, perish; be extinct, become extinct &c adj.; die out; disappear &c 449; melt away, dissolve, leave not a rack behind; go, be no more; die ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... how are we to account for the recent violent outbreaks in India, where Anarchism has hardly been born. More than any other old philosophy, Hindu teachings have exalted passive resistance, the drifting of life, the Nirvana, as the highest spiritual ideal. Yet the social unrest in India is daily growing, and has only recently resulted in an act of political violence, the killing of Sir Curzon Wyllie by the Hindu, Madar ...
— Anarchism and Other Essays • Emma Goldman

... I stood it while he stuffed my pockets, but rebelled when he tried to poke the prickly, scratchy things inside my shirt. I had not yet attained that sublime indifference to physical comfort, that Nirvana of ...
— Alaska Days with John Muir • Samual Hall Young

... the deck outside the combing of the cockpit. Nirvana had no attraction for him. He resented forced inactivity as an unendurable wrong. Instead of smoking with half-closed eyes, he peered eagerly forward under the sail. He noted everything—the floating gulls and puffins, the stiff, wild-eyed cormorants, the jelly-fish, the whirling eddies ...
— The Simpkins Plot • George A. Birmingham

... the sky, the distant town, the soft buffeting of the winds of heaven, are a joy to the aesthetic part of man, the freedom from all responsibility and accountability is Nirvana to his moral nature. A man who has once tasted these two joys together, the joy of being in the open air and the joy of being disreputable and unashamed, has touched an experience which the most close-knit and determined nature might well dread. Life has ...
— Emerson and Other Essays • John Jay Chapman

... proof of the futility of human effort, that there is neither bad work nor good work to do, nothing but to await the coming of the Nirvana. ...
— Confessions of a Young Man • George Moore

... it was only a taste, it had flown to our brains like heavy wine, and the headaches and the heartaches followed fast. For some it was more than a heartache; to them it brought the deep, drugged sleep of Nirvana. ...
— Captain Macklin • Richard Harding Davis

... where all things remained for ever young, and the flowers and the corn grew always and never faded nor fell to the sickle. It is the land Mignon aspired to—"Oh let me for ever then remain young"—the impossible dream of poets and millions of men and women who were not poets: Nirvana, with a difference; that realm in which, tired with the struggles and fights in the devious ways of this dark world, they should after death awake refreshed in a serene light and pure air, thereafter to dwell for ever in a state of untroubled blessedness, where all earth's puzzles solve themselves, ...
— Richard Wagner - Composer of Operas • John F. Runciman

... in absolute rest, the Oriental astrologers conceived a state of eternal and unconscious repose, equivalent to soul absorption, to which they gave the name of Nirvana, into which they taught that, by the awards of the gods, the souls of the righteous, or those who had lived what they called "the contemplative life," would be permitted to enter immediately after death. But, ...
— Astral Worship • J. H. Hill

... the green arch of the trees, where luminous insects, white and flame-colored butterflies, aimlessly chased one another, Marsa half slumbered in a sort of voluptuous oblivion, a happy calm, in that species of nirvana which the open air of summer brings. She felt herself far away from the entire world in that corner of verdure, and abandoned herself to childish hopes and dreams, in profound enjoyment ...
— Prince Zilah, Complete • Jules Claretie

... would have a dream or a nightmare, a horror or a delight. This uncertainty has been removed from the modern Dream Shop. Nowadays, our drugs are carefully measured, mixed, and metered for each individual. There is an absolute precision in dream-making, ranging from the Nirvana-like calm of Black Slipper through the multicolored hallucinations of peyotl and tri-narcotine, to the sexual fantasies induced by nace and morphine, and at last to the memory-resurrecting dreams of the ...
— The Status Civilization • Robert Sheckley

... of life's dream is Nirvana. What Nirvana is the learned do not agree. But, since the best original authorities tell us there is neither desire nor activity, nor any possibility of phenomenal reappearance for the sage who has entered Nirvana, it ...
— Evolution and Ethics and Other Essays • Thomas H. Huxley

... of a larva. I feel myself returning into a more elementary form. I behold my own unclothing; I forget, still more than I am forgotten; I pass gently into the grave while still living, and I feel, as it were, the indescribable peace of annihilation, and the dim quiet of the Nirvana. I am conscious of the river of time passing before and in me, of the impalpable shadows of life gliding past me, but nothing breaks the ...
— Amiel's Journal • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... but a perfect realization of our own personalities. It is only this that is an immortality worthy of the name. To regard souls as Bergson does, as merely "rivulets" into which the great stream of Life has divided, does not do sufficient justice to human individuality. A "Nirvana," after death, is not immortality in the sense of personal survival and in the sense demanded ...
— Bergson and His Philosophy • J. Alexander Gunn

... of the Norseman, the Nirvana of the Hindu, the Heaven of the Christian are natural hopes of beings whose cares and disappointments here are softened by belief that somewhere, Thor, Brahma or God ...
— Love, Life & Work • Elbert Hubbard

... the same, calm and decisive." There she looked away with a flutter of her lashes, as if she were shamed at having allowed herself to be caught in open admiration of him. "Look! The last effulgence of rose!" she went on hurriedly about the sunset. "Why shouldn't we think of the sky as heaven, as Nirvana? What better immortality than to ...
— The Last Shot • Frederick Palmer

... magazine and thought for a while about these diverse men. In the days of his integrity he would have defended his attitude to the last—an Epicurus in Nirvana, he would have cried that to struggle was to believe, to believe was to limit. He would as soon have become a churchgoer because the prospect of immortality gratified him as he would have considered entering the leather ...
— The Beautiful and Damned • F. Scott Fitzgerald

... street, that sat with him by his fireless hearth, that lay beside him all night, a loathsome bedfellow, telling him a shameful, hopeless tale, and driving the blessed sleep away from him. There were times when he envied his neighbour her nirvana of gin and water; times when the gross steam of the stew prepared for the man below awoke in him acute, intolerable emotion; times when the spiritual will that dominated him, so far from being purified by abstinence, seemed merged in the will of the body made conspicuous ...
— The Divine Fire • May Sinclair

... the Colonel, rousing himself from a brief nirvana of digestion, "I hope that you will not be dull." He said it with the confidence of a man who has just laid before you a pretty convincing ...
— The Return of the Prodigal • May Sinclair

... from himself... Somewhere the test instruments—which had seemed so lenient—had tripped him up, spotting the weakness that he had tried to fight. Temper, nerves—emotional instability. So there was no green card for Tif, to whom space was a kind of Nirvana... ...
— The Planet Strappers • Raymond Zinke Gallun

... taught, (1) that existence is always attended with misery; (2) that all modes of misery result from passion, or desire unsatisfied; (3) that desire must be quenched; (4) that there are four steps in doing this, and thus of arriving at NIRVANA, which is the state in which self is lost and absorbed, and vanishes from being. These four ways are (1) the awakening to a perception of the nature and cause of evil, as thus defined; (2) the consequent ...
— Outline of Universal History • George Park Fisher

... preference as imparting a fine scriptural flavor to the dea. And he sat upon the throne day and night, looking down upon the earth, and never did anything else nor felt it monotonous. Buddha himself, in Nirvana, could not have attained to a greater perfection of contemplation than that with which they credited this curious divinity, who served solely for a finish to their mental range as the sky was to their visual; a ...
— The Heavenly Twins • Madame Sarah Grand

... religious feeling of the day was extremely inclined to mysticism, in which aesthetic, erotic, and all kinds of morbid and ill-defined tendencies were united, which was more than anything else tinged with a semi-Asiatic quietism, a longing for the passive ecstasy of Nirvana. This religious side of mediaeval life was also gratified by the Arthurian romances. Oddly enough, there existed an old Welsh or Breton tale about the boy Peredur, who from a complete simpleton became the prince of chivalry, and his many adventures connected with a ...
— Euphorion - Being Studies of the Antique and the Mediaeval in the - Renaissance - Vol. II • Vernon Lee

... infinite ocean of God." Nothing could be more definite; nor, it must be confessed, more utterly hopeless. To be "submerged without reserve" is to cease from even the illusion of individuality; it is absorption, Nirvana. ...
— Problems of Immanence - Studies Critical and Constructive • J. Warschauer

... worship, through the radiant laws Of Duty, Love and Beauty; for through these As through three portals of the self-same gate The soul of man attains infinity, And enters into Godhead. So he gained On earth a fore-taste of Nirvana, not The void of eastern dream, but the desire And goal of all of us, whether thro' lives Innumerable, by slow degrees, we near The death divine, or from this breaking body Of earthly death we flash at once to God. Through simple love and ...
— The New Morning - Poems • Alfred Noyes

... carrion there!" he accused me. He jerked down a section of white curtain and whirled it over the stiffening body. "If you must grieve, grieve for Miss Nefer! Exiled, imprisoned, locked forever in the past, her mind pulsing faintly in the black hole of the dead and gone, yearning for Nirvana yet nursing one lone painful patch of consciousness. And only to hold a fort! Only to make sure Mary Stuart is executed, the Armada licked, and that all the other consequences flow on. The Snakes' Elizabeth let Mary live ... and England die ... and ...
— No Great Magic • Fritz Reuter Leiber

... consent as perfect, changeless and Eternal—therefore, in teaching the doctrine that conquest of the material self, with all its lusts, desires, loves, hopes, ambitions and hates, frees one from pain, and leads to Nirvana, the state of Perfect Rest, he preached the rest of an untinged, untainted existence in the Spirit. Though the soul be composed of the finest conceivable substance, yet if substance at all—as Dr. Jaeger seems able to prove, and ages of human intercourse ...
— The Life of Buddha and Its Lessons • H.S. Olcott

... of the second gallery contains, in the upper row, bas-reliefs representing scenes connected with the history of Prince Siddhartha (Gautama) from his infancy to the period when he attained Nirvana. ...
— Travels in the Far East • Ellen Mary Hayes Peck



Words linked to "Nirvana" :   region, part, Hinduism, Hindooism, beatitude, blessedness, beatification, Buddhism, enlightenment



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