I had an inspiration to write this question about Heaven vs Nirvana. When I add everything up between the two it is very hard for me at least to see why anyone would chose Nirvana over Heaven.
First we have Heaven up, many friends and family are here, you can visit who you want even people long past. There are great halls of knowledge here, everything is amazingly beautiful here. There is never any worry, fear, unhappiness, there is never any lack or limitation. You feel the love of God always for the rest of eternity all around you. You can even meet Jesus personally when you get to heaven. Every day is an amazing experience filled with love, adventure and play. Every day is a pure joy!
Now Nirvana is up, there is no lack because there is nothing here, it is a deep dark void. Devoid of everything, you are all alone in this darkness of nothing for eternity, no family no friends around. Nothing because Nirvana is nothing, there is no suffering because there is no feeling here either, there is nothing to see, hear feel, taste, smell nothing just emptiness.
It seems completely opposed to Heaven, Heaven with sight, sound, touch and taste all feelings amplified of pure love and joy. But Nirvana seems to be just the opposite, complete void, nothing.
I could see how that would be desirable if you knew nothing but suffering in life, you would want to feel and experience nothing in your after life. There was a lot of suffering in India at the time of the Buddha so his objective was to end all suffering, what better way then to shut down completely and experience absolutely nothing for eternity.
But to someone that knows what Love and Joy feels like I have a hard time trying to understand why you would want that to end and not want to experience anything for eternity.
So why would someone want to chose Nirvana over Heaven? Both of these are what we expect I can not say absolutes except for the "Near Death Experiences" that people have reported what Heaven was like for them.
As for me, I would rather expect Heaven than Nirvana myself.
EDIT ADDED 9-8-12
I am enjoying this very much. It is very interesting. I have read about Nirvana but that was only limited as compared to those that know it through their understanding and experience through their religion. Thank you everyone and please keep adding! :-)
When one waits for heaven or tries to get to a state of nirvana ,ones misses that in that moment, it is heaven and is nirvana.
Heaven and Nirvana are both just words that try to point to States of Being. Neither are places that can be found from a physical point of view. Both point toward states that have no sense of self and, from a personal perspective, can never be realized. Words limit everything to the physical realm and are, at best, pointers directing the self within where Heaven and Nirvana can both be realized by those willing to, let go of the personal sense of identity and, embrace the uncertainty of the physical illusion.
And remember Wade up cannot exist without down so Heaven or Nirvana cannot be experienced without the integration of both.
To me they're one and the same because both contain no sense of the little self but are All Inclusive which, from my current point of perception, is the only path to freedom...Heaven or Nirvana, it matters not which :)
answered 07 Sep '12, 21:39
Interesting point of view Wade. :)
Let me offer you a slightly different one.
As to why would one choose Nirvana over Heaven, perhaps because Nirvana can be realized right here, right now. In the very moment of the present. Whereas Heaven happens only after you die.
And as for nothingness, letting go of your attachments to love and hate, you will experience their oneness. It may seem there is nothing at all, but there is in fact everything there is. It's just that in the state of oneness you don't distinguish between the parts that together form oneness and separately form duality.
answered 06 Sep '12, 16:18
They are both allegory. Both are simply a profound peace of mind. When you were born you had no beliefs; you were curious and open. Your beliefs and traditions were imposed on you by parents, teachers, religious teachers, etc. Oddly enough, the original knowledge/wisdom was known the world over. As the apostle Paul said, everything he was teaching to the Gentiles had already been taught to every creature upon the earth. Col. 1:23 Theologians distorted the true meaning of this ancient knowledge/wisdom.
“The same thing that is now called Christian Religion existed among the ancients. They have begun to call 'Christian' the true religion which existed before.” St. Augustine
answered 07 Sep '12, 09:34
Difficult question, but I can only speak for myself. For me, Nirvana is the highest goal in this life and the afterlife. I hold it higher than the bliss of the heavens.
But, I can't convince anybody to want Nirvana over God's Heaven. It's a personal choice.
answered 14 Feb, 08:36
If you are seeing this message then the Inward Quest system has noticed that your web browser is behaving in an unusual way and is now blocking your active participation in this site for security reasons. As a result, among other things, you may find that you are unable to answer any questions or leave any comments. Unusual browser behavior is often caused by add-ons (ad-blocking, privacy etc) that interfere with the operation of our website. If you have installed these kinds of add-ons, we suggest you disable them for this website