The Released Mind is Unfathomable like the Ocean - Ajahn Dhammasiha
What happens after someone who has attained Nibbāna dies:
- Do they still exist after death?
- Or do they not exist?
- Or both?
- Or neither?
The Buddha rejected all four options above. Instead, he explains that the mind freed from defilements and clinging is immeasurable like the great ocean. It can no longer be described or defined by language, thoughts, form, feeling, perception, intention or consciousness.
Another well known simile describes the enlightened mind like a flame gone out. However, 'extinguished' can easily be misunderstood as meaning ''Does not exist", which would not be correct. All four options of the Tetralemma above have to be rejected. Therefore, Ajahn Dhammasiha draws our attention to the Ocean-Simile, which has no annihilationist connotations.