Nirvana is Satori?


Nirvana is Satori?

by Jason


St-Francis in Ecstasy: Satori?

St-Francis in Ecstasy: Satori?

St-Francis in Ecstasy: Satori?

The Buddha in meditation.

The Question:

Dear friend,

Did I read right that Satori is the Japanese term for nirvana? I had heard of both but never thought to relate them!

In any case nirvana has accumulated a somewhat debased status in the west due to over-use and being absorbed into pop-culture.

Be that as it may, I find the concept of satori very interesting and helpful although I am a Quaker not a Buddhist.

I wonder what the relationship is between satori and the concept of rigpa in Tibetan Buddhism. Perhaps you can explain.

Keep up the great work with the site!

My answer:

Dear Jason,

thank you for your question. I see where you saw that and I might have been wrong to state it that way. Satori and Nirvana are debated on many boards like this one:

Satori is something intrinsically Zen and almost exclusive to Japan.
Satori is really translated in English as Enlightenment and is a state you can attain when meditating. There are many types of satori. One of them is short and others are permanent. I like to think that short term satoris are some kind of spiritual ecstasy where you have the feeling of inter-connection with the rest of creation and a deep understanding of your own life.

A more permanent Satori would be an enlightenment like the Buddha had, a permanent one and as long as his is alive, he become a Bodhisattva.

Upon his death, the enlightened being decides if he wants to go to Nirvana (which is really the cessation of the cycle of rebirth and suffering) or come back again to save others.

So, basically, Satori is attainable while you are alive and Nirvana is where you go after you die, if you attain Buddha-hood (permanent enlightenment.)

I hope this clarifies my thought and answers your question.


Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It’s easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask me something.