Wikipedia 10K Redux by Reagle from Starling archive. Bugs abound!!!

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Nirvana is an English transliteration/spelling of a Sanskrit term meaning extinction or "blowing out" (like a candle).  Nirvana is a frequently used term in BuddhIsm--very roughly it is the state of being when ego-centered/craving consciousness is extinguished.  See the EncyclopaediaBritannica [,5716,57318+1+55914,00.html?kw=nirvaunua entry for nirvana] for a more detailed definition.

Many of the Pali language Buddhist scriptures use a word translated as "nibbana", which appears to describe the same word/concept.


Do "nirvana" and "nibbana" actually denote the same thing?  In English, "nirvana" seems to have won out. But what about the words in other forms of Buddhist text in many other languages, in different alphabets yet again?  Do the standard transliterations of these terms in Chinese translations of earlier Pali and Sanskrit texts use the same transliteration for each, for example?  

:Serious students of Buddhist texts seem to prefer "nibbana", although "nirvana" is often listed as a (transliteration of the) Sanskrit version.  A more detailed definition is [ here], with several uses of "nibbana" [ here], and a talk on "nibbana" [ here].  Finally, a Google search for [ nirvana nibbana Pali Sanskrit] found over a hundred links which seem to equate the two terms.

:: The sources listed above are all from a site that explicitly deals only with Theravada Buddhism, which is a very particular branch of Buddhism that is based on the Pali Canon.  That is why they use the phrase "nibbana"; it is not because "serious students of Buddhist texts seem to prefer" that word.  The question of whether "nibbana" and "nirvana" really denote the same thing is best considered as a question regarding the differing ''conceptions'' Theravada and other branches (Mahayana and Vajrayana, to name the main ones) posses of the single ''concept'' nirvana.