In Buddhism, is the desire for Nirvana contradictory?

Staff from the Religion, Philosophy & Ethics course at Gloucestershire, in conversation about whether the desire to achieve Nirvana, in a Buddhist context, is contradictory – given the apparent aspiration to attain ‘desirelessness’ in Buddhism:

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  1. I am not sure Nibbana is a state that is attained by desire. It is spontaneous and sui generis. There are circumstances that are favourable for attaining it but it is not the end product of any special scheme of action. So the link between desire and nibbana are tenuous. In other words you cannot desire to attain Nibbana and act upon that desire

    1. Thanks for the comment: I think this us just why we need a typology of aspiration. A crude desire is opposed to Nirvana, but a noble, determined aspiration seems qualitatively distinct. Dhamma-Chanda is a good thing to be in possession of…

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