chapter  3
Transcending the Extremes
Pages 4

If we examine the utterances on Nibbana, in the Pali Canon, we find that it is described (or better: paraphrased) in positive and negative terms. Statements of a positive nature are, e.g. designations like 'the profound, the true, the pure, the permanent, the marvellous', etc. (Sarhy, 43; see paragraph 2); further, texts such as those quoted above (paragraph 2); 'There is that sphere .. .', 'There is an unborn .. .', etc. Statements in the form of negative terms are, e.g. definitions of Nibbana as 'the destruction of greed, hatred and delusion', as cessation of existence' (bhavanirodha; Sarhy, 12, 68). If the Buddhist doctrine of Nibbana is to be understood correctly, one will have to give full 168

weight to the significance of both types of utterance. If one were to quote only one group of them, as a vindication of one's own one-sided opinion, it would result in a lop-sided view.