(Skt., liberation; Pāli, vimokkha).
1 The three ‘liberations’, or ‘gateways to deliverance’, said to be three ‘doors’ (mukha) through which nirvāṇa can be approached. In Pāli sources they are known as the empty (suññato), the signless (animitto) and the wishless (appaṇihito). These three emphasize the transcendent nature of nirvāṇa. It is empty of self in that it has no essence; it is without any of the ‘signs’ or marks (lakṣaṇa) characteristic of saṃsāra (such as arising and passing away); and it is without desire.since one who has attained it seeks nothing more. See also vimukti.
2 Pāli sources also contain a list of eight vimokkhas (Skt., vimokṣa) or stages of liberation, which are concerned with proficiency in the attainement of the levels of trance (dhyāna). The last five consist of the four higher trances together with the ‘attainment of cessation’ (saññā-vedayita-nirodha).