Neikban in Burmese, known as nirvana in English; the ultimate goal of Buddhism, meaning liberation from samsara or the cycle of rebirth and suffering. The original meaning of the term is the "extinguishing" of the flame of life, like a candle snuffed out. The concept is extremely difficult for even learned Buddhists to understand, and most ordinary believers in Burma are more attracted by the prospect of a pleasant rebirth (perhaps as a rich man or a celestial being) or by the idea of nibbana as simply a serene paradise. Gotama Buddha was able to pass into nibbana at death, after achieving Enlightenment. Nibbana stands above the 31 levels of existence, including hell, animal life, the human world, and the realms of gods and incorporeal celestial beings, which comprise Buddhist cosmology.
   See also Kamma; Kutho.

Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). . 2014.

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