Loki nibbana is a Pali Theravada Buddhist concept found in Burma. For those familiar with Buddhism, the school from which it originated was once accused of being too selfish. This accusation had merit, and caused the founding of the Mahayana school, which felt that the monastic community spent too much time concerned with individual liberation and not enough time tending to the community that supported it. In light of the concept itself, this historical reality is the cause of much interest.

Nibbana is merely the Pali version of nirvana, so little needs to be translated within this article. Loki on the other hand, is a most complicated word. It is to be understood within a dichotomy. This dichotomy is between the mundane or physical worldly realities, and that of the “spiritual”. This however, is not very informative, and so we will expand upon this abstracted version to understanding it in real terms, as it is in the Pali. The juxtaposition is easily made clear by that of between a farmer (or miner, or factory worker…) to that of the monk. That is, those concerned with the immedate material necessities of day-to-day existence, to those who can afford temporally to devote time to reaching enlightenment.

Loki nibbana then, is best translated as the cessation of material suffering. This is put into practice through the elimination of immediate material need, allowing the mind to no longer be plagued with the existential concerns of dealing with and supporting a body. This would include an elimination of the suffering of hunger, thirst, homelessness, and lack of purpose.

After all someone must still sweep, it is the worry that is the suffering.

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