The Buddhist term, Mahaparinirvana, meaning, "great complete, Nirvana", where as Parinirvana is the “final nirvana”.

(Sanskrit: parinirvāṇa; Pali: parinibbāṇa; Chinese: bō niè pán)

It refers an ultimate state of direct experiential Realization achieved by an Enlightened or fully Awakened individual.

This ultimate final state of Realization is usually understood to be within reach upon the death of the body of someone who has attained complete awakening called bodhi.

In Hinduism and Yoga, parinirvana is called

Mahaparinirvana is the ultimate goal in the Mahayana Buddhism.

This state of direct experience differs from other levels of Nirvana.
Realization like life has levels of richness, these levels are dependent on ones level of receptiveness and perception.

One is awakened and enlightened to Reality when one can realizes and can fully operate through the timeless/no-time aspect of self; an aspect that exists beyond ego driven past–future concerns, concerns that drive judgments, attachments and suffering.

Realization of this level of existence is the base camp termed generically Enlightenment.

Mahaparinirvana on the other hand is the sublime state realized by the soul; a state in which the Buddha being full attains "the Eternal Pure" no-self state of awareness.

It is considered the ultimate attainment of Buddhist practice and implies a release from the bhavachakra, Saṃsāra, karma and rebirth as well as the dissolution of all worldly physical and mental aggregates.

This level of release has the potential of dissolving the physical form completely beyond three dimensional time based reality.
In fact in Dzogchen there are four general classifications called "appearances".

There has been many souls that have achieved this state of actualization in Buddhist documentation.
It may be viewed as Ascension with the nuance of the individuals soul perspective coloring slightly the appearance.
I write on length on this topic for it grounds my outline in the formation of the image on the Shroud.

In Pali: Arahant has the opportunity at the moment of physical death, when the mundane skandhas (constituent elements of the ordinary body-mind) are shed and only the Buddhic skandhas remain, to dissolve or incorrupt the physical form.

Normally, this is thought to occur easiest near the time of death but according to the Mahayana tradition may also be attained during a Buddha's physical lifetime as well. This type is rare, not because of the difficulty, but more due to the degree of compassion the saint holds for those around him still in suffering and ignorance. They out of compassion remain until the moment the divine calls for the transition.

Parinirvana is depicted in the iconography of Indian religions and thangkas of Tibetan Buddhism by the five rainbow colors, the Five Pure Lights.

In the Dzogchen lineages of Mantrayana, parinirvana and mahasamadhi are refined into the phowa of the mind-stream as the Rainbow Body

The parinirvana of Gautama Buddha (Pali: Gotama Buddha) is depicted in the Pali Mahaparinibbana Sutta.

To read more on this topic go to the Realization page

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