Nirvana Quotes

Nirvana (Sk.) " the esoteric explanations it is the state of absolute existence and absolute consciousness, into which the Ego of a man goes, after the body dies, and occasionally, as in the case of the Gautama Buddha and others during life."
Theosophical Glossary, H.P. Blavatsky p. 232
Nirvani (Sk.) " emancipated soul...It is "escape from misery" but only from that of matter, freedom from Klesha, or Kama, and the complete extinction of animal maya (illusion). Sakyamuni Buddha said in the last moments of his life that "the spiritual body is immortal."...the Bodhisattvas who prefer the Nirmanakaya to the Dharmakaya vesture, stand higher in the popular estimation than the Nirvanis..."
Theosophical Glossary H.P. Blavatsky p. 232
"...there are two methods of attaining Nirvana, one selfish and the other unselfish, but the word selfish here would designate really unselfishness among us. It refers to the refinement of selfishness in that a person is working by unselfish acts to obtain that which, in the end of all analysis, is selfish, because it is for the benefit of the person involved. But it was never taught that a man could attain Nirvana by working for his own selfish advantage as his motive, and he does not gain it at the expense of anyone; therefore his selfishness in obtaining Nirvana, being at no one's expense, is of a very different quality from what we ordinarily call selfishness. As a matter of fact it is stated that at a certain point of development the highly spiritualized person may in a moment pass into Nirvana through an instantaneous personal desire to gain that state."
Forum Ans. p. 73-4
"The Pratyeka Buddha is a degree which belongs exclusively to the Yogacharya school, yet it is only one of high intellectual development with no true spirituality. It is the dead-letter of the Yoga laws, in which intellect and comprehension play the greatest part, added to the strict carrying out of the rules of the inner development. It is one of the three paths to Nirvana, and the lowest, in which a Yogi -- 'without teacher and without saving others' -- by the mere force of will and technical observances, attains to a kind of nominal Buddhaship individually; doing no good to anyone, but working selfishly for his own salvation and himself alone. The Pratyekas are respected outwardly but are despised inwardly by those of keen or spiritual appreciation. A Pratyeka is generally compared to a 'Khadga' or solitary rhinoceros and called Ekashringa Rishi, a selfish solitary Rishi (or saint)"
Theosophical Glossary H.P. Blavatsky 261
"Bad karma is that act and thought which displeases the Higher Self. Hence all self-seeking acts and thoughts no matter how high and outwardly virtuous they are, are bad karma, since the Higher Self desires no such acts for its sake. Nirvana comes to those who have risen over the delusions and have realized the supreme unity of all; then it may be taken; but if it is taken for oneself, leaving others in the mire of life unhelped, it becomes an enormous selfishness which later on must result in the being having to do penance in some other manvantara."
Forum Ans p. 97
"When an Adept has reached a certain very high point in his evolution he may, by a mere wish, become what the Hindus call a "Deva"--or lesser god. If he does this, then, although he will enjoy the bliss and power of that state for a vast length of time, he will not at the next Pralaya partake of the conscious life "in the bosom of the Father," but has to pass down into matter at the next new "creation," performing certain functions that could not now be made clear, and has to come up again through the elemental world; but this fate is not like that of the Black Magician who falls into Avitchi. And again between the two he can choose the middle state and become a Nirmanakaya--one who gives up the bliss of Nirvana and remains in conscious existence outside of his body after its death; in order to help Humanity. This is the greatest sacrifice he can do for mankind."
Epitome of Theosophy, W.Q. Judge p. 28
"The whole matter is a reference to a very obscure doctrine, but little known, that if the Adept voluntarily takes the delights, pleasures and powers referred to, he is compelled, after millions of years of enjoyment, to re-enter objective nature at the elemental stage. That is plainly related."
THEOSOPHICAL FORUM, Answers by W.Q. Judge p. 120

Returning Nirvanees

The human Ego is neither Atman nor Buddhi, but the higher Manas:  the intellectual fruition and the efflorescence of the intellectual self-conscious Egotism—in the higher spiritual sense.  The ancient works refer to it as Karana Sarira on the plane of Sutratma, which is the golden thread on which, like beads, the various personalities of this higher Ego are strung.  If the reader were told, as in in the semi-esoteric allegories, that these Beings were returning Nirvanees, from preceding Maha-Manvantaras—ages of incalculable duration which have rolled away in the Eternity, a still more incalculable time ago—he would hardly understand the text correctly; while some Vedantins might say:  “This is not so; the Nirvanee can never return”; which is true during the Manvantara he belongs to, and erroneous where Eternity is concerned.  For it is said in the Sacred Slokas:
    “The thread of radiance which is imperishable and dissolves only in Nirvana, re-emerges from it in its integrity on the day when the Great Law calls all things back into action. . . .”
H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, II pp. 79-80
if a 1st-5th  3 round man devoted himself to occultism and became an adept, would he escape further earthly incarnations?
(2) No; if we except Buddha — a sixth round being, as he had run so successfully the race in his previous incarnations as to outrun even his predecessors. But then such a man is to be found one in a billion of human creatures. He differed from other men as much in his physical appearance as in spirituality and knowledge. Yet even he escaped further reincarnations but on this earth; and, when the last of the sixth round men of the third ring is gone out of this earth, the Great Teacher will have to get reincarnated on the next planet. Only, and since He sacrificed Nirvanic bliss and Rest for the salvation of his fellow creatures He will be re-born in the highest — the seventh ring of the upper planet. Till then He will overshadow every decimillenium (let us rather say and add “has overshadowed already”) a chosen individual who generally overturned the destinies of nations. See Isis, Vol. I, pp. 34 and 35, last and first para. on the pages.
Mahatma Letters, letter 17, letter 61 in the Chronological edition
Bodha means the innate possession of divine intellect or “understanding”; “Buddha,” the acquirement of it by personal efforts and merit; while Buddhi is the faculty of cognizing the channel through which divine knowledge reaches the “Ego,” the discernment of good and evil, “divine conscience” also; and “Spiritual Soul,” which is the vehicle of Atma.  “When Buddhi absorbs our EGO-tism (destroys it) with all its Vikaras, Avalôkitêshvara becomes manifested to us, and Nirvana, or Mukti, is reached,” “Mukti” being the same as Nirvana, i.e., freedom from the trammels of “Maya” or illusion.  “Bodhi” is likewise the name of a particular state of trance condition, called Samadhi, during which the subject reaches the culmination of spiritual knowledge.
H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine I xix, 
The day when “the spark will re-become the Flame (man will merge into his Dhyan Chohan) myself and others, thyself and me,” as the Stanza has it—means this:  In Paranirvana—when Pralaya will have reduced not only material and psychical bodies, but even the spiritual Ego(s) to their original principle—the Past, Present, and even Future Humanities, like all things, will be one and the same.  Everything will have re-entered the Great Breath.  In other words, everything will be “merged in Brahma” or the divine unity.
Is this annihilation, as some think?  Or Atheism, as other critics—the worshippers of a personal deity and believers in an unphilosophical paradise—are inclined to suppose?  Neither.  It is worse than useless to return to the question of implied atheism in that which is spirituality of a most refined character.  To see in Nirvana annihilation amounts to saying of a man plunged in a sound dreamless sleep—one that leaves no impression on the physical memory and brain, because the sleeper’s Higher Self is in its original state of absolute consciousness during those hours—that he, too, is annihilated.  The latter simile answers only to one side of the question—the most material; since re-absorption is by no means such a “dreamless sleep,” but, on the contrary, absolute existence, an unconditioned unity, or a state, to describe which human language is absolutely and hopelessly inadequate.  The only approach to anything like a comprehensive conception of it can be attempted solely in the panoramic visions of the soul, through spiritual ideations of the divine monad.  Nor is the individuality—nor even the essence of the personality, if any be left behind—lost, because re-absorbed.  For, however limitless—from a human standpoint—the paranirvanic state, it has yet a limit in Eternity.  Once reached, the same monad will re-emerge therefrom, as a still higher being, on a far higher plane, to recommence its cycle of perfected activity.  The human mind cannot in its present stage of development transcend, scarcely reach this plane of thought.  It totters here, on the brink of incomprehensible Absoluteness and Eternity.
H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine I, 266

Causes for Evolution

"...that which propels towards, and forces evolution, i.e., compels the growth and development of Man towards perfection, is (a) the monad, or that which acts in it unconsciously through a force inherent in itself; and (b) the lower astral body or the personal self. The former...that force [which]...owing to its identity with the all-force...inherent in the Monad, it is all-potent on the Arupa or formless plane...So with the Atman: unless the higher Self or ego gravitates towards its Sun--the Monad--the lower Ego, or personal Self, will have the upper hand in every case. For it is this Ego, with its fierce Selfishness and animal desire to live a Senseless life (Tanha), which is "the maker of the tabernacle,"...In short, Spirituality is on its ascending arc, and the animal or physical impedes it from steadily progressing on the path of its evolution only when the selfishness of the personality has so strongly infected the real inner man with its lethal virus, that the upward attraction has lost all its power on the thinking reasonable man."
H.P. Blavatsky The Secret Doctrine II 109-110


"Perfection is an ever-receding goal; "we can always approach the light, but we may never touch the flame," because it is our very Self, the Perceiver and Knower within. The Self is neither perfect nor imperfect for it includes all perceptions; there could be no knowledge of any degree of perfection or imperfections unless the perceiver could see both an distinguish between them."
Answers to Questions, p. 14
"In those bodies all the forces belonging to man, and these mean the very highest expression of the great forces of nature, constantly play, and must have corresponding effect upon anyone who may come in Their direct range. With such a conception of the nature of Their bodies, we may be able to dimly perceive to what a pitch of power and glory Their inner natures have been raised. If we thus dimly grasp the nature of Masters we may be able to reverence Them in our hearts, and to endeavor to draw near to Them in our innermost being...Masters are facts in Nature, facts however which our highest ideals will not fully encompass...Let us therefore endow Them with the highest we can conceive of, try to assimilate that "highest" within ourselves, endeavor to draw near to Them in our hearts, and thus form for ourselves that line of communication which They have said They are always ready to help establish; and let us keep that ideal as a sacred thing in the repository of our hearts..."
Answers to Questions p.27-8
"...The stream is cross'd. 'Tis true thou hast a right to Dharmakaya vesture; but Sambhogakaya is greater than a Nirvanee, and greater still is a Nirmanakaya--the Buddha of Compassion."
H.P. Blavatsky Voice of the Silence, p.77 (pagenation different per version)
"Yea, he is mighty. The living power made free in him, that power which is Himself, can raise the tabernacle of illusion high above the Gods, above great Brahm and Indra. Now he shall surely reach his great reward !"
H.P. Blavatsky Voice of the Silence, p. 71 (pagenation different per version)
306.    "Yea; on the Arya Path thou art no more Srotapatti, thou art a Bodhisattva33. The stream is cross'd. 'Tis true thou hast a right to Dharmakaya vesture; but Sambogakaya is greater than a Nirvanee, and greater still is a Nirmanakaya -- the Buddha of Compassion 34.
307.    Now bend thy head and listen well, O Bodhisattva -- Compassion speaks and saith: "Can there be bliss when all that lives must suffer? Shalt thou be saved and hear the whole world cry?"
308.    Now thou hast heard that which was said.
309.    Thou shalt attain the seventh step and cross the gate of final knowledge but only to wed woe -- if thou would'st be Tathagata, follow upon thy predecessor's steps, remain unselfish till the endless end.
310.    Thou art enlightened -- Choose thy way.
H.P. Blavatsky Voice of the Silence, The Seven Portals (near the end, pagenation different per version)
To reach Nirvana one must reach Self-Knowledge, and Self-Knowledge is of loving deeds the child.
H.P.Blavatsky, Voice of the Silence
"Whether it be orthodox Adwaita or not, I maintain as an occultist, on the authority of the Secret Doctrine, that though merged entirely into Parabrahm, man's Spirit while not individual per se, yet preserves its distinct individuality in Paranirvana, owing to the accumulation in it of the aggregates, or skandhas that have survived after each death, from the highest faculties of the Manas.
The most spiritual--i.e., the highest and divinest aspirations of every personality follow Buddhi and the Seventh Principle into Devachan (Swarga) after the death of each personality along the line of rebirths, and become part and parcel of the Monad.
The personality fades out, disappearing before the occurrence of the evolution of the new personality (rebirth) out of Devachan: but the individuality of the spirit-soul [dear, dear, what can be made out of this English!] is preserved to the end of the great cycle (Maha-Manwantara) when each Ego enters Paranirvana, or is merged in Parabrahm. To our talpatic, or mole-like, comprehension the Human Spirit is then lost in the One Spirit, as the drop of water thrown into the sea can no longer be traced out and recovered.
But de facto it is not so in the world of immaterial thought. This latter stands in relation to the human dynamic thought, as, say, the visual power through the strongest conceivable microscope would to the sight of a half-blind man: and yet even this is a most insufficient simile--the difference is "inexpressible in terms of foot-pounds."
Isis Unveiled and the Visishtadwaita, H.P. Blavatsky, Theosophist, January, 1886

More on Nirvana etc. - from a discussion group