I was going to quote something from Nibbana Sermons 14, but it was getting far too long, so if you're really
interested in the deeper meaning of those terms, then check out Nibbana Sermon 14.
But, in summary...
Nanananda, Sermon 14 wrote:All this goes to show, that Nibbāna is a state beyond decay
and death. We can clearly understand from this discourse why
Nibbāna is known as a decayless, deathless state, realizable in
this very world. That sage has conquered decay and death here
and now, because he has realized the cessation of existence,
here and now.
This is something extremely wonderful about the arahant.
He realizes the cessation of existence in his attainment to the
fruit of arahant-hood. How does he come to realize the cessation
of existence? Craving is extinct in him, hence there is no
grasping. Where there is no grasping, there is no existence. Because
there is no existence, birth, decay and death, along with
sorrow and lamentation, cease altogether.
( A link for anyone without a copy: http://lirs.ru/do/sutra/Nibbana_Sermons,Nanananda.pdf
tiltbillings wrote:Okay, but that does not deny birth, sickness, old-age and death actually happens.
It clarifies the nature of what they actually are, and that they require the erroneous (i.e. avijja) concept of a "self" (which is a thought, i.e. sankhara) existing over time in order to mean anything at all. In the absence of avijja, any reference point to which such terms might have any meaning is transcended.
Mettagūmāṇavapucchā in the Pārāyanavagga of the Sutta Nipāta wrote:"Whatever you may know to be
Above, below and across in the middle,
Dispel the delight and the tendency to dwell in them,
Then your consciousness will not remain in existence.
A monk, endowed with understanding,
Thus dwelling mindful and heedful,
As he fares along giving up all possessions,
Would abandon even here and now
Birth, decay, sorrow, lamentation and suffering."
tiltbillings wrote:I'll take a straightforward Dhamma over one that requires convoluted explanations to understand.
As is your prerogative.