The Word Sassataṃ Used For Nibbāna

elsewhere it was suggested that sassataṃ means eternal, referring to nibbana.

when nibbana is experienced, nibbana becomes known to be unchanging. Unlike all conditioned compositions, the unconditioned nibbana does not change.

‘sassatam’ is easier to understand as ‘unchanging’

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Sassata is a good word, but because armchair reddit scholars will see “the word” sassata, they will incorrectly imply that sassatadiṭṭhi can be applied to nibbāna. They will incorrectly imply that Nibbāna can be “experienced” after the khandas pass away and do not arise again. For that reason, I think it can be a not so good idea to use the word. But it is a good word and there are many other words to describe Nibbāna.

Here is a translation from gpt+ (maybe some mistakes… but it is pretty good to get the feel of the pāḷi)

The main quote you will see throughout the tipitaka when you search for nibbānaṃ and sassataṃ

nibbānaṃ niccaṃ dhuvaṃ sassataṃ avipariṇāmadhammanti – asaṃhīraṃ asaṃkuppaṃ.
Nibbāna is eternal, stable, perpetual, unchanging – unshakable, unflinching.”

cūḷaniddesapāḷi mm page 227

tenāha thero piṅgiyo –"adhideve abhiññāya, sabbaṃ vedi paroparaṃ,pañhānantakaro satthā, kaṅkhīnaṃ paṭijānata"nti.

Thero Piṅgiya said, “Having known the higher gods, the teacher knows everything, one after the other; the teacher, the end-maker of questions, acknowledges (the doubts) of the doubtful.”

asaṃhīraṃ asaṃkuppaṃ, yassa natthi upamā kvaci, addhā gamissāmi na mettha kaṅkhā, evaṃ maṃ dhārehi adhimuttacittaṃ.

“Unshakable, unflinching, for which there is no comparison anywhere, thus I will go without doubt; hold me with a resolved mind.”

asaṃhīraṃ asaṃkuppanti asaṃhīraṃ vuccati amataṃ nibbānaṃ. yo so sabbasaṅkhārasamatho sabbūpadhipaṭinissaggo taṇhakkhayo virāgo nirodho nibbānaṃ.

“Unshakable, unflinching is called the deathless Nibbāna. It is the calming of all formations, the relinquishment of all attachments, the destruction of craving, dispassion, cessation, Nibbāna.”

asaṃhīranti rāgena dosena mohena kodhena upanāhena makkhena paḷāsena issāya macchariyena māyāya sāṭheyyena thambhena sārambhena mānena atimānena madena pamādena sabbakilesehi sabbaduccaritehi sabbapariḷāhehi sabbāsavehi sabbadarathehi sabbasantāpehi sabbākusalābhisaṅkhārehi asaṃhāriyaṃ nibbānaṃ niccaṃ dhuvaṃ sassataṃ avipariṇāmadhammanti – asaṃhīraṃ.

“Unshaken by passion, hatred, delusion, anger, resentment, deceit, fraud, envy, miserliness, deceit, treachery, arrogance, overbearing pride, intoxication, carelessness, all defilements, all misconduct, all afflictions, all contaminations, all despair, all torment, all unwholesome mental formations, Nibbāna is unshakable, eternal, stable, perpetual, unchanging – unshakable.”

asaṃkuppanti asaṃkuppaṃ vuccati amataṃ nibbānaṃ. yo so sabbasaṅkhārasamatho…pe… nirodho nibbānaṃ. nibbānassa na uppādo paññāyati, vayo natthi, na tassa aññathattaṃ paññāyati. nibbānaṃ niccaṃ dhuvaṃ sassataṃ avipariṇāmadhammanti – asaṃhīraṃ asaṃkuppaṃ.

“Unflinching is called the deathless Nibbāna. It is the calming of all formations… cessation, Nibbāna. For Nibbāna, no arising is discerned, no decay is there, nor does it appear otherwise. Nibbāna is eternal, stable, perpetual, unchanging – unshakable, unflinching.”

It is not clear that nibbana is eternal. How can such a thing possibly be known?

It seems that knowing it to be unchanging is easy.

cannot those words taken to mean eternal also be taken to mean constant, stable or unchanging

The permanence of nibbāna can be understood to mean that defilements have ceased forever and suffering has ceased permanently. It does not require conditions to be maintained and will never change or cease.

Also if this state depended on whether it was cognized by consciousness or not, then we would have nibbana conditioned by consciousness. But this peace, this extinguishing of passions and the eradication of dukkha does not depend on whether it is cognized by perception or not.

Does this experience, nibbana, exist, persist, in some sort of state or non-state when it is not experienced or is nibbana only when experienced and then nibbana is experienced as not changing but not known to be eternal

If it is eternal, is it the same nibbana that all infinite numbers of Buddhas and ordinary arhats have experienced in the past or can experience now or will experience in the future
afaik there is no support for this eternal nibbana, shared by all enlightened beings. Nibbana doesn’t change yet some suggest it’s where Buddhas go when dead. Doesn’t that sound like a changing heaven full of saved souls.

I suggest that the translation as eternal is not as good as unchanging.