The Controversial Case of Nibbāna between Dhammakāya and Thai Scholars

27 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2016 Last revised: 11 Oct 2016

Date Written: August 26, 2016


In this article: The Controversial of Nibbāna between Dhammakāya and Thai Scholars. The topic of controversy concern with the word Nibbāna, which is explained in the different way, Hence, the definition of Nibbāna is appearance in Buddhism, such a Pāli word, Sanskrit word and also the word Nibbāna is evident in sramanic philosophy, and in Buddhism, as I just mention, the definition of Nibbāna quote to etymology of its root from the word Nirvāṇa by explain Ni and Vāna in different meaning as it means “being away from the path of rebirth,” “to be permanently rid of the dense forest of the five aggregates” and etc.

In the history of Buddhism the debates and controversies over the understanding of the Abhidhamma have occurred and go on some occasions have led to the emergence of new doctrinal schools such the Pudgalavādin School. Now, in Thailand the debate and controversy on Nibbāna is the big topic and become Talk of the Town in Thai society. The cause of controversial between Dhammakāya and Thai Scholars is come from the difference interpretations and different understanding of Nibbāna.

The term Dhammakāya is presented similar as Mahayāna tradition, Dhammakāya method of meditation is presented as a new movement in Thailand and different from the Early Buddhist, from that point the definition of Dhammakāya and their teaching is presented as it never been in Tipitaka. Thus, some Thai scholars argue and like to make understand clearly of the word Nibbāna. Then, both of Dhammakāya and Thai Scholars explain the concept of Nibbāna in their way. Dhammakāya presented Nibbāna is Attā and one who practice Dhammakāya Method along the path to Nibbāna which is called Āyatananibbāna.

P.A. Payutto one of the famous Thai academic scholars criticized Nibbāna is Anattā and the word Āyatananibbāna is not appear in Pali word in general. To solve this problem by following the teaching of the Buddha that demonstrates in Concept of Nibbāna and the Characteristic of Nibbāna within Tipitaka.

Keywords: Controversial case; Nibbāna; Dhammakāya; Thai Scholars

Suggested Citation

Jetsadaareewong, Suphattra, The Controversial Case of Nibbāna between Dhammakāya and Thai Scholars (August 26, 2016). Available at SSRN: or

Suphattra Jetsadaareewong (Contact Author)

St. Theresa International College ( email )

1 moo 6 Rangsit-Nakon nayok Road
klong 14, Bungsan
ongkarak, Nakon nayok 26120

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