A word in sanskrit denoting a place, or mind set, free of suffering. Free, in fact of ego, percieved and percieved. In contrast to samsara. The hitch is, they are not different. Those interested should check out the likes of Thich Nhat Hanh, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Pema Chodron, and Tartang Tulku, to node a few.

Often described (or translated) as "extinction of the flame", especially in the Theravada tradition.

This is related to the description of the difference between the Hindu and Buddhist understanding of soul (atman and anatman respectively), and hence the difference in their respective understanding of reincarnation.

The Hindu concept is described comparing the atman to a diamond in a crown. When the crown wears out, the diamond is placed in a different crown: The same diamond, different crown, or the same soul (atman) in a different body.

The Buddhist understanding likens reincarnation to a flame of a burning candle. When the candle burns out, a new candle is lit using the flame of the old candle. The flame of the new candle is hence a continuation of the old flame, it is the same and it is not the same. In reincarnation, the non-permanent soul (anatman) provides continuity but not identity of existence (panta rhei).

In nirvana the flame is extinguished. This does not imply anihilation though it denies eternalism, both considered extremes, and thus fallacies, by Buddhism.

Perhaps this is a bit tacky, but in a footnote of an excellent book called The Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell, there is a literal translation of the sanskrit "Nirvana" as a compound of "nir", or "out", and "vana," or "blown". Combined, this translates to "blown out", referring to the cessation of desire.

But it is also interesting to consider in regards to what ultimately happened to Kurt Cobain.

It's a cold and rainy evening in late October. The shops are filled with Hallowe'en goodies, which we all know will soon be cleared out of the way for the far more lucrative festive season's fare.

The adverts on TV are becoming even more blatant and pandering, portraying images of quite superfluously verbose and expensive children's toys. Jingling bells accompany the ads, in some attempt to mask the jangling of cash registers.

And suddenly the record industry's new releases take a different turn. The regular torrent of disposable pop fluff is suddenly supplemented by a glut of Greatest Hits and Best Of compilations, and it's into this category we must file what will in all probability be the last released Nirvana album, imaginatively entitled 'Nirvana'.

Featuring a grand total of one (count them...) new track, 'You Know You're Right', this Greatest Hits compilation boasts, on the cover,

15 CLASSIC SONGS
NEWLY MASTERED FEATURING
THE PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
"YOU KNOW YOU'RE RIGHT"
493 523-2

in exactly the same format we've seen on a million other compilation albums. Without arguing or going into precisely how they're defining 'CLASSIC', the track list is:

  1. You Know You're Right
  2. About A Girl
  3. Been A Son
  4. Sliver
  5. Smells Like Teen Spirit
  6. Come As You Are
  7. Lithium
  8. In Bloom
  9. Heart-Shaped Box
  10. Pennyroyal Tea
  11. Rape Me
  12. Dumb
  13. All Apologies
  14. The Man Who Sold The World
  15. Where Did You Sleep Last Night

The album cover is black with a silver 'NIRVANA', the spine reminiscent of Bleach's. Despite the presence of the recording of About a Girl from the Bleach recording, the performances are attributed to the final configuration of the band lineup. The standard liner notes blurb is written by one David Fricke, sharing his own personal perspective on the band and waxing lyrical about Kurt's 'genius'.

Let's all remember for a moment. Nirvana were the band that made me want to break things. Much as I may credit Manic Street Preachers with the revolutionary ideals behind these ideas, Nirvana fired my desire to see the modern world in flames, along with the mechanics of everything that keeps us docile and permissive and easily managed. I don't want to see this band reduced to prole-feed.

I was almost ashamed to buy the album, (£11.99), and so I offer this promise in repayment to the universe: that if I should ever have a band of my own, and a record deal, our Best Of compilation shall be entitled 'The Complete Dehumanisation and Corporate Sodomisation Of...'.

In conclusion, this album will probably sell like hotcakes. It will be bought by those of us that remember the music and how it made us feel. It will be bought by the mothers of all the little spiky-haired clean-cut nu-metal kiddies who walk around in smiley face Nirvana T-shirts, enthusiastically unwrapped under the tree in their Slipknot pajamas. It will sell to those that spurned the group, but in retrospect realise that they kinda quite liked Smells Like Teen Spirit, so there might be something else on there that's good too. So you know what you have to do.

Steal this album.

Fuck you, Courtney.

Nirvana began in Seattle, with Kurt Cobain a singer and guitar player,bassist Krist Novoselic and the drummer Dave Grohl. In january of 1989 their recorded the first album Bleach. At that time the drummer was Chad Channing and Dave Grohl was in the band Scream. After one month Nirvana made its first tour. One year later Channing was sacked and he was replaced by Dave Grohl. In 1991, Nevermind was released, the most famous album of the beginning of grunge generation with the song "Smells like teen spirit". In 1993, they recorded In Utero and MTV Unplugged and added Pat Smear as a second guitarist. Since the beginning of the band Kurt Cobain had problems with drugs but he was more addicted in 1994. He was found unconsious in his hotel and then he was taken in a hurry to the hospital. However at the moment Nirvana was on a european tour. At the end of march, he entered a drug rehab and after one month he escaped from the rehabilitation and returned to his hometown. In April, Cobain was found in his house with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. This was the end of Nirvana.

References:http://www.matwolf.com/music-2/the-history-of-nirvana/. http://www.angelfire.com/clone/syxx/history.html

Nir*va"na (?), n. [Skr. nirva&nsdot;a.]

In the Buddhist system of religion, the final emancipation of the soul from transmigration, and consequently a beatific enfrachisement from the evils of wordly existence, as by annihilation or absorption into the divine. See Buddhism.

 

© Webster 1913.

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