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{{About|the concept in Buddhism|the concept in Hinduism|Anatman (Hinduism)}}{{Buddhism}}In Buddhism, the term anattā (Pali) or anātman (Sanskrit) refers to the doctrine of "non-self", that there is no unchanging, permanent self, soul or essence in living beings.Anatta Buddhism, Encyclopædia Britannica (2013)[a] BOOK, Christmas Humphreys, Exploring Buddhism,weblink 2012, Routledge, 978-1-136-22877-3, 42–43, [b] BOOK, Brian Morris, Religion and Anthropology: A Critical Introduction,weblink 2006, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-85241-8, 51, , Quote: "...anatta is the doctrine of non-self, and is an extreme empiricist doctrine that holds that the notion of an unchanging permanent self is a fiction and has no reality. According to Buddhist doctrine, the individual person consists of five skandhas or heaps—the body, feelings, perceptions, impulses and consciousness. The belief in a self or soul, over these five skandhas, is illusory and the cause of suffering."[c] BOOK, Richard Gombrich, Theravada Buddhism,weblink 2006, Routledge, 978-1-134-90352-8, 47, , Quote: "...Buddha's teaching that beings have no soul, no abiding essence. This 'no-soul doctrine' (anatta-vada) he expounded in his second sermon." It is one of the seven beneficial perceptions in Buddhism,"Sañña Sutta: Perceptions" (AN 7.46) Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight (Legacy Edition), 30 November 2013 and along with Dukkha (suffering) and Anicca (impermanence), it is one of three Right Understandings about the three marks of existence.BOOK, Richard Gombrich, Theravada Buddhism,weblink 2006, Routledge, 978-1-134-90352-8, 47, , Quote: "All phenomenal existence [in Buddhism] is said to have three interlocking characteristics: impermanence, suffering and lack of soul or essence."The Buddhist concept of Anattā or Anātman is one of the fundamental differences between Buddhism and Hinduism, with the latter asserting that Atman (self, soul) exists.[a] Anatta, Encyclopædia Britannica (2013), Quote: "Anatta in Buddhism, the doctrine that there is in humans no permanent, underlying soul. The concept of anatta, or anatman, is a departure from the Hindu belief in atman ("the self")."; [b] Steven Collins (1994), "Religion and Practical Reason" (Editors: Frank Reynolds, David Tracy), State Univ of New York Press, {{ISBN|978-0-7914-2217-5}}, page 64; "Central to Buddhist (wikt:soteriology|soteriology) is the doctrine of not-self (Pali: anattā, Sanskrit: anātman, the opposed doctrine of ātman is central to Brahmanical thought). Put very briefly, this is the [Buddhist] doctrine that human beings have no soul, no self, no unchanging essence."; [c] Edward Roer (Translator), {{Google books|3uwDAAAAMAAJ|Shankara's Introduction|page=2}} to Brihad Aranyaka Upanishad, pages 2-4; [d] Katie Javanaud (2013), Is The Buddhist 'No-Self' Doctrine Compatible With Pursuing Nirvana?, Philosophy Now; [e] David Loy (1982), "Enlightenment in Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta: Are Nirvana and Moksha the Same?", International Philosophical Quarterly, Volume 23, Issue 1, pages 65-74; [f] KN Jayatilleke (2010), Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge, {{ISBN|978-8120806191}}, pages 246-249, from note 385 onwards;

Etymology and nomenclature

Anattā is a composite Pali word consisting of an (not, without) and attā (soul).BOOK, Thomas William Rhys Davids, William Stede, Pali-English Dictionary,weblink 1921, Motilal Banarsidass, 978-81-208-1144-7, 22, The term refers to the central Buddhist doctrine that "there is in humans no permanent, underlying substance that can be called the soul." It is one of the three characteristics of all existence, together with dukkha (suffering, unsatisfactoriness) and anicca (impermanence).Anattā is synonymous with Anātman (an + ātman) in Sanskrit Buddhist texts. In some Pali texts, ātman of Vedic texts is also referred to with the term Attan, with the sense of soul. An alternate use of Attan or Atta is "self, oneself, essence of a person", driven by the Vedic era Brahmanical belief that the soul is the permanent, unchangeable essence of a living being, or the true self.BOOK, Johannes Bronkhorst, Buddhist Teaching in India,weblink 2009, Simon and Schuster, 978-0-86171-566-4, 124–125 with footnotes, In Buddhism-related English literature, Anattā is rendered as "not-Self", but this translation expresses an incomplete meaning, states Peter Harvey; a more complete rendering is "non-Self" because from its earliest days, Anattā doctrine denies that there is anything called a 'Self' in any person or anything else, and that a belief in 'Self' is a source of Dukkha (suffering, pain, unsatisfactoriness).BOOK, Peter Harvey, An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices,weblink 2012, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-85942-4, 57–62, BOOK, Peter Harvey, Steven M. Emmanuel, A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy,weblink 2015, John Wiley & Sons, 978-1-119-14466-3, 34–37, {{Refn|group=note|Buddha did not deny a being or a thing, referring it to be a collection of impermanent interdependent aggregates, but denied that there is a metaphysical self, soul or identity in anything.BOOK, Peter Harvey, Steven M. Emmanuel, A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy,weblink 2015, John Wiley & Sons, 978-1-119-14466-3, 36, }} It is also incorrect to translate Anattā simply as "ego-less", according to Peter Harvey, because the Indian concept of ātman and attā is different from the Freudian concept of ego.BOOK, Peter Harvey, An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices,weblink 2012, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-85942-4, 62, , Quote: "Again, anatta does not mean 'egoless', as it is sometimes rendered. The term 'ego' has a range of meanings in English. The Freudian 'ego' is not the same as the Indian atman/atta or permanent Self."{{Refn|group=note|The term ahamkara is 'ego' in Indian philosophies.BOOK, Surendranath Dasgupta, A History of Indian Philosophy,weblink 1992, Motilal Banarsidass (Republisher; Originally published by Cambridge University Press), 978-81-208-0412-8, 250, }}Anatta or Anatta-vada is also referred to as the "no-soul or no-self doctrine" of Buddhism.BOOK, Richard Gombrich, Gananath Obeyesekere, Buddhism Transformed: Religious Change in Sri Lanka,weblink 1988, Motilal Banarsidass, 978-81-208-0702-0, 246, BOOK, N. Ross Reat, Buddhism: A History,weblink 1994, Jain Publishing, 978-0-87573-002-8, 32, BOOK, Richard Francis Gombrich, Theravāda Buddhism: A Social History from Ancient Benares to Modern Colombo,weblink 1988, Routledge, 978-0-415-07585-5, 47,

Anattā in the Pali canon

The concept of Anattā appears in numerous Sutta of the ancient Buddhist Nikāya texts. It appears, for example, as a noun in Samyutta Nikaya III.141, IV.49, V.345, in Sutta II.37 of Anguttara Nikaya, II.37–45 and II.80 of Patisambhidamagga, III.406 of Dhammapada. It also appears as an adjective, for example, in Samyutta Nikaya III.114, III.133, IV.28 and IV.130–166, in Sutta III.66 and V.86 of Vinaya.The ancient Buddhist texts present an extensive discussion and rejection of the Vedic concept of Attā (soul, self) – sometimes with alternate terms such as Atuman, Tuma, Puggala, Jiva, Satta, Pana and Nama-rupa – in order to provide the context for the Buddhist Anattā doctrine. Examples of such Attā contextual discussions are found in Digha Nikaya I.186-187, Samyutta Nikaya III.179 and IV.54, Vinaya I.14, Majjhima Nikaya I.138, III.19, and III.265–271 and Anguttara Nikaya I.284.The contextual use of Attā in Nikāyas is two sided. In one, it directly denies that there is anything called a self or soul in a human being that is a permanent essence of a human being, a theme found in Brahmanical (proto-Hindu) traditions.BOOK, Peter Harvey, The Selfless Mind: Personality, Consciousness and Nirvana in Early Buddhism,weblink 2013, Routledge, 978-1-136-78336-4, 1–2, 34–40, 224–225, In another, states Peter Harvey, such as at Samyutta Nikaya IV.286, the Sutta considers the materialistic concept in pre-Buddhist Vedic times of "no afterlife, complete annihilation" at death to be a denial of Self, but still "tied up with belief in a Self".BOOK, Peter Harvey, The Selfless Mind: Personality, Consciousness and Nirvana in Early Buddhism,weblink 2013, Routledge, 978-1-136-78336-4, 39–40, "Self exists" is a false premise, assert the ancient Buddhist Nikaya texts. However, adds Peter Harvey, these texts do not admit the premise "Self does not exist" either because the wording presumes the concept of "Self" prior to denying it; instead, the early Buddhist texts use the concept of Anattā as the implicit premise.BOOK, Johannes Bronkhorst, Buddhist Teaching in India,weblink 2009, Wisdom Publications, 978-0-86171-811-5, 23–25, Anattā is one of the main bedrock doctrines of Buddhism, and its discussion is found in the later texts of all Buddhist traditions.BOOK, Oliver Leaman, Eastern Philosophy: Key Readings,weblink 2002, Routledge, 978-1-134-68919-4, 23–27, For example, the Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna (~200 CE), extensively wrote about rejecting the metaphysical entity called attā or ātman (self, soul), asserting in chapter 18 of his Mūlamadhyamakakārikā that there is no such substantial entity and that "Buddha taught the doctrine of no-self".BOOK, Nāgārjuna, David J. Kalupahana (Translator), Mūlamadhyamakakārikā of Nāgārjuna,weblink 1996, Motilal Banarsidass, 978-81-208-0774-7, 56–57, BOOK, Brad Warner (Commentary), GW Nishijima (Translator), Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way: Nagarjuna's Mulamadhyamakakarika,weblink 2011, Monkfish, 978-0-9833589-0-9, 182–191, BOOK, Nagarjuna, Jay Garfield (Translator), The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way: Nagarjuna's Mulamadhyamakakarika,weblink 1995, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-976632-1, xxxiv, 76, Chapters XVIII, XXVII (see Part One and Two), The texts attributed to the 5th-century Buddhist philosopher Vasubandhu of the Yogachara school similarly discuss Anatta as a fundamental premise of the Buddha.BOOK, Steven M. Emmanuel, A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy,weblink 2015, John Wiley & Sons, 978-1-119-14466-3, 419–428, The Vasubandhu interpretations of no-self thesis were challenged by the 7th-century Buddhist scholar Candrakirti, who then offered his own theories on its importance.BOOK, James Duerlinger, The Refutation of the Self in Indian Buddhism: Candrakīrti on the Selflessness of Persons,weblink 2013, Routledge, 978-0-415-65749-5, 52–54, BOOK, Ronald W. Neufeldt, Karma and Rebirth: Post Classical Developments,weblink State University of New York Press, 978-1-4384-1445-4, 216–220,

Existence and non-existence

Anattā (no-self, without soul, no essence) is the nature of living beings, and this is one of the three marks of existence in Buddhism, along with Anicca (impermanence, nothing lasts) and Dukkha (suffering, unsatisfactoriness is innate in birth, aging, death, rebirth, redeath – the Saṃsāra cycle of existence).BOOK, Robert E. Buswell Jr., Donald S. Lopez Jr., The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism,weblink 2013, Princeton University Press, 978-1-4008-4805-8, 42–43, 581, BOOK, Grant Olson (Translator), Phra Payutto, Buddhadhamma: Natural Laws and Values for Life,weblink 1995, State University of New York Press, 978-0-7914-2631-9, 62–63, It is found in many texts of different Buddhist traditions, such as the Dhammapada – a canonical Buddhist text.BOOK, John Carter, Mahinda Palihawadana, Dhammapada,weblink 2008, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-955513-0, 30–31, 74, 80, Buddhism asserts with Four Noble Truths that there is a way out of this Saṃsāra.{{refn|group=note|name="Samsara"|On samsara, rebirth and redeath:* Paul Williams: "All rebirth is due to karma and is impermanent. Short of attaining enlightenment, in each rebirth one is born and dies, to be reborn elsewhere in accordance with the completely impersonal causal nature of one's own karma. The endless cycle of birth, rebirth, and redeath, is samsara."{{sfn|Williams|2002|p=74-75}}* Buswell and Lopez on "rebirth": "An English term that does not have an exact correlate in Buddhist languages, rendered instead by a range of technical terms, such as the Sanskrit PUNARJANMAN (lit. "birth again") and PUNABHAVAN (lit. "re-becoming"), and, less commonly, the related PUNARMRTYU (lit. "redeath")."{{sfn|Buswell|Lopez|2003|p=708}}See also Perry Schmidt-Leukel (2006) pages 32-34,{{sfn|Schmidt-Leukel|2006|p=32-34}} John J. Makransky (1997) p.27.{{sfn|Makransky|1997|p=27}} for the use of the term "redeath." The term Agatigati or Agati gati (plus a few other terms) is generally translated as 'rebirth, redeath'; see any Pali-English dictionary; e.g. pages 94-95 of Rhys Davids & William Stede, where they list five Sutta examples with rebirth and re-death sense.WEB,weblink Pali-English Dictionary, Thomas William Rhys, Davids, William, Stede, 1 January 1921, Motilal Banarsidass Publ., Google Books, }}{{refn|group=note|name="Moksha"|Graham Harvey: "Siddhartha Gautama found an end to rebirth in this world of suffering. His teachings, known as the dharma in Buddhism, can be summarized in the Four Noble truths."{{sfn|Harvey|2016}} Geoffrey Samuel (2008): "The Four Noble Truths [...] describe the knowledge needed to set out on the path to liberation from rebirth."{{sfn|Samuel|2008|p=136}} See also {{sfn|Spiro|1982|p=42}}{{sfn|Vetter|1988|p=xxi, xxxi-xxxii}}{{sfn|Makransky|1997|p=27-28}}{{sfn|Williams|2002|p=74-75}}{{sfn|Lopez|2009|p=147}}{{sfn|Harvey|2016}}Thanissaro Bhikkhu, The Truth of Rebirth And Why it Matters for Buddhist PracticeThe Theravada tradition holds that insight into these four truths is liberating in itself.{{sfn|Carter|1987|p=3179}} This is reflected in the Pali canon.{{sfn|Anderson|2013}} According to Donald Lopez, "The Buddha stated in his first sermon that when he gained absolute and intuitive knowledge of the four truths, he achieved complete enlightenment and freedom from future rebirth."Donald Lopez, Four Noble Truths, Encyclopædia Britannica.The Maha-parinibbana Sutta also refers to this liberation.WEB,weblink Maha-parinibbana Sutta: Last Days of the Buddha, Carol Anderson: "The second passage where the four truths appear in the Vinaya-pitaka is also found in the Mahaparinibbana-sutta (D II 90-91). Here, the Buddha explains that it is by not understanding the four truths that rebirth continues."{{sfn|Anderson|2013|p=162 with note 38, for context see pages 1-3}} On the meaning of moksha as liberation from rebirth, see Patrick Olivelle in the Encyclopædia Britannica.Patrick Olivelle (2012), Encyclopædia Britannica, Moksha (Indian religions)}}

Eternalism and annihilationism

While the concept of soul in Hinduism (as atman) and Jainism (as jiva) is taken for granted, which is different from the Buddhist concept of no-soul, each of the three religions believed in rebirth and emphasized moral responsibility in different ways in contrast to pre-Buddhist materialistic schools of Indian philosophies.BOOK, Robert E. Buswell Jr., Donald S. Lopez Jr., The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism,weblink 2013, Princeton University Press, 978-1-4008-4805-8, 708–709, BOOK, Peter Harvey, An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices,weblink 2012, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-85942-4, 32–33, 38–39, 46–49, The materialistic schools of Indian philosophies, such as Charvaka, are called annihilationist schools because they posited that death is the end, there is no afterlife, no soul, no rebirth, no karma, and death is that state where a living being is completely annihilated, dissolved.BOOK, Ray Billington, Understanding Eastern Philosophy,weblink 2002, Routledge, 978-1-134-79349-5, 43–44, 58–60, Buddha criticized the materialistic annihilationism view that denied rebirth and karma, states Damien Keown. Such beliefs are inappropriate and dangerous, stated Buddha, because they encourage moral irresponsibility and material hedonism.WEB, Ucchedavāda, śāśvata-vāda, rebirth, in A Dictionary of Buddhism, Damien Keown, 2004, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-860560-7, Anatta does not mean there is no afterlife, no rebirth or no fruition of karma, and Buddhism contrasts itself to annihilationist schools. Buddhism also contrasts itself to other Indian religions that champion moral responsibility but posit eternalism with their premise that within each human being there is an essence or eternal soul, and this soul is part of the nature of a living being, existence and metaphysical reality.BOOK, Norman C. McClelland, Encyclopedia of Reincarnation and Karma,weblink 2010, McFarland, 978-0-7864-5675-8, 89, BOOK, Hugh Nicholson, The Spirit of Contradiction in Christianity and Buddhism,weblink 2016, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-045534-7, 23–25, BOOK, Gananath Obeyesekere, Karma and Rebirth: A Cross Cultural Study,weblink 2006, Motilal Banarsidass, 978-81-208-2609-0, 281–282,

Karma, rebirth and anattā

{{StagesFettersRebirths|notes=1}}The Buddha emphasized both karma and anatta doctrines."Selves & Not-self: The Buddhist Teaching on Anatta", by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight (Legacy Edition), 30 November 2013,weblink Buddha criticized the doctrine that posited an unchanging soul as a subject as the basis of rebirth and karmic moral responsibility, which he called "atthikavāda". He also criticized the materialistic doctrine that denied the existence of both soul and rebirth, and thereby denied karmic moral responsibility, which he calls "natthikavāda".David Kalupahana, Causality: The Central Philosophy of Buddhism. The University Press of Hawaii, 1975, page 44. Instead, the Buddha asserted that there is no soul, but there is rebirth for which karmic moral responsibility is a must. In the Buddha's framework of karma, right view and right actions are necessary for liberation.BOOK, Malcolm B. Hamilton, The Sociology of Religion: Theoretical and Comparative Perspectives,weblink 12 June 2012, Routledge, 978-1-134-97626-3, 73–80, BOOK, Raju, P. T., 1985, Structural Depths of Indian Thought, State University of New York Press, 978-0-88706-139-4,weblink 147–151,

Developing the self

According to Peter Harvey, while the Suttas criticize notions of an eternal, unchanging Self as baseless, they see an enlightened being as one whose empirical self is highly developed.BOOK, Peter Harvey, The Selfless Mind: Personality, Consciousness and Nirvana in Early Buddhism,weblink 1995, Routledge, 978-1-136-78336-4, 54–56, This is paradoxical, states Harvey, in that "the Self-like nibbana state" is a mature self that knows "everything as Selfless". The "empirical self" is the citta (mind/heart, mindset, emotional nature), and the development of self in the Suttas is the development of this citta.BOOK, Peter Harvey, The Selfless Mind: Personality, Consciousness and Nirvana in Early Buddhism,weblink 1995, Routledge, 978-1-136-78336-4, 111–112, One with "great self", state the early Buddhist Suttas, has a mind which is neither at the mercy of outside stimuli nor its own moods, neither scattered nor diffused, but imbued with self-control, and self-contained towards the single goal of nibbana and a 'Self-like' state. This "great self" is not yet an Arahat, because he still does small evil action which leads to karmic fruition, but he has enough virtue that he does not experience this fruition in hell.An Arahat, states Harvey, has a fully enlightened state of empirical self, one that lacks the "sense of both 'I am' and 'this I am'", which are illusions that the Arahat has transcended.BOOK, Peter Harvey, The Selfless Mind: Personality, Consciousness and Nirvana in Early Buddhism,weblink 1995, Routledge, 978-1-136-78336-4, 31–32, 44, 50–51, 71, 210–216, 246, The Buddhist thought and salvation theory emphasizes a development of self towards a Selfless state not only with respect to oneself, but recognizing the lack of relational essence and Self in others, wherein states Martijn van Zomeren, "self is an illusion".BOOK, Martijn van Zomeren, From Self to Social Relationships: An Essentially Relational Perspective on Social Motivation,weblink 2016, Cambridge University Press, 978-1-107-09379-9, 156, , Quote: Buddhism is an example of a non-theistic religion, which underlies a cultural matrix in which individuals believe that the self is an illusion. Indeed, its anatta doctrine states that the self is not an essence.

Anatman in Theravada Buddhism

Theravada Buddhism scholars, states Oliver Leaman, consider the Anattā doctrine as one of the main theses of Buddhism.The Buddhist denial of "any Soul or Self" is what distinguishes Buddhism from major religions of the world such as Christianity and Hinduism, giving it uniqueness, asserts the Theravada tradition. With the doctrine of Anattā, stands or falls the entire Buddhist structure, asserts Nyanatiloka.BOOK, Steven Collins, Selfless Persons: Imagery and Thought in Theravada Buddhism,weblink 1990, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-39726-1, 5, According to Collins," insight into the teaching of anatta is held to have two major loci in the intellectual and spiritual education of an individual" as s/he progresses along the Path. The first part of this insight is to avoid sakkayaditthi (Personality Belief), that is converting the "sense of I which is gained from introspection and the fact of physical individuality" into a theoretical belief in a self. 'A belief in a (really) existing body' is considered a false belief and a part of the Ten Fetters that must be gradually lost. The second loci is the psychological realisation of anatta, or loss of 'pride or conceit'. This, states Collins, is explained as the conceit of asmimana or 'I am'; (...) what this 'conceit' refers to is the fact that for the unenlightened man, all experience and action must necessarily appear phenomenologically as happening to or originating from an 'I'. When a Buddhist gets more enlightened, this happening to or originating in an 'I' or sakkdyaditthi is less. The final attainment of enlightenment is the disappearance of this automatic but illusory 'I'.BOOK, Steven Collins, Selfless Persons: Imagery and Thought in Theravada Buddhism,weblink 1990, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-39726-1, 93–94, The Theravada tradition has long considered the understanding and application of the Anatta doctrine to a complex teaching, whose "personal, introjected application has always been thought to be possible only for the specialist, the practising monk". The tradition, states Collins, has "insisted fiercely on anatta as a doctrinal position", while in practice it may not play much of a role in the daily religious life of most Buddhists.BOOK, Steven Collins, Selfless Persons: Imagery and Thought in Theravada Buddhism,weblink 1990, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-39726-1, 94–96, The Suttas present the doctrine in three forms. First, they apply the "no-self, no-identity" doctrine to all phenomena as well as any and all objects, yielding the idea that "all things are not-self" (sabbe dhamma anatta). Second, states Collins, the Suttas apply the doctrine to deny self of any person, treating conceit to be evident in any assertion of "this is mine, this I am, this is myself" (etam mamam eso 'ham asmi, eso me atta ti).BOOK, Steven Collins, Selfless Persons: Imagery and Thought in Theravada Buddhism,weblink 1990, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-39726-1, 96–97, Third, the Theravada texts apply the doctrine as a nominal reference, to identify examples of "self" and "not-self", respectively the Wrong view and the Right view; this third case of nominative usage is properly translated as "self" (as an identity) and is unrelated to "soul", states Collins. The first two usages incorporate the idea of soul.BOOK, Steven Collins, Selfless Persons: Imagery and Thought in Theravada Buddhism,weblink 1990, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-39726-1, 3–5, 35–36, 109–116, 163, 193, The Theravada doctrine of Anatta, or not-self not-soul, inspire meditative practices for monks, states Donald Swearer, but for the lay Theravada Buddhists in Southeast Asia, the doctrines of kamma, rebirth and punna (merit) inspire a wide range of ritual practices and ethical behavior.BOOK, Donald K. Swearer, Buddhist World of Southeast Asia, The: Second Edition,weblink 2012, State University of New York Press, 978-1-4384-3252-6, 2–3, The Anatta doctrine is key to the concept of nirvana (nibbana) in the Theravada tradition. The liberated nirvana state, states Collins, is the state of Anatta, a state that is neither universally applicable nor can be explained, but can be realized.BOOK, Steven Collins, Selfless Persons: Imagery and Thought in Theravada Buddhism,weblink 1990, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-39726-1, 82–84, {{Refn|group=note|This is a major difference between the Theravada Buddhists and different Hindu traditions which assert that nirvana is realizing and being in the state of self (soul, atman) and is universally applicable. However, both concur that this state is indescribable, cannot be explained, but can be realized.BOOK, Steven Collins, Selfless Persons: Imagery and Thought in Theravada Buddhism,weblink 1990, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-39726-1, 81–82, JOURNAL, Loy, David, Enlightenment in Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta, International Philosophical Quarterly, Philosophy Documentation Center, 22, 1, 1982, 65–74, 10.5840/ipq19822217, }}

Current disputes

{{See also|Buddhism in Thailand}}The dispute about "self" and "not-self" doctrines has continued throughout the history of Buddhism.BOOK, Potprecha Cholvijarn, Nibbāna as True Reality beyond the Debate,weblink Wat Luang Phor Sodh, 978-974-350-263-7, 45, It is possible, states Johannes Bronkhorst, that "original Buddhism did not deny the existence of the soul", even though a firm Buddhist tradition has maintained that the Buddha avoided talking about the soul or even denied its existence.BOOK, Johannes Bronkhorst, The Two Traditions of Meditation in Ancient India,weblink 1993, Motilal Banarsidass, 978-81-208-1114-0, 99 with footnote 12, While there may be ambivalence on the existence or non-existence of self in early Buddhist literature, adds Bronkhorst, it is clear from these texts that seeking self-knowledge is not the Buddhist path for liberation, and turning away from self-knowledge is. This is a reverse position to the Vedic traditions which recognized the knowledge of the self as "the principal means to achieving liberation".BOOK, Johannes Bronkhorst, Buddhist Teaching in India,weblink 2009, Wisdom Publications, 978-0-86171-811-5, 25, In Thai Theravada Buddhism, for example, states Paul Williams, some modern era Buddhist scholars have claimed that "nirvana is indeed the true Self", while other Thai Buddhists disagree.{{sfn|Williams|2008|pp=125–7}} For instance, the Dhammakaya Movement in Thailand teaches that it is erroneous to subsume nirvana under the rubric of anatta (non-self); instead, nirvana is taught to be the "true self" or dhammakaya.{{sfn|Mackenzie|2007|pp=100–5, 110}} The Dhammakaya Movement teaching that nirvana is atta, or true self, was criticized as heretical in Buddhism in the 1994 by Ven. Payutto, a well-known scholar monk, who stated that 'Buddha taught nibbana as being non-self".{{sfn|Mackenzie|2007|p=51}}{{Sfn|Williams|2008|p=127-128}} The abbot of one major temple in the Dhammakaya Movement, Luang Por Sermchai of Wat Luang Por Sodh Dhammakayaram, argues that it tends to be scholars who hold the view of absolute non-self, rather than Buddhist meditation practitioners. He points to the experiences of prominent forest hermit monks to support the notion of a "true self".{{Sfn|Williams|2008|p=127-128}} Similar interpretations on the "true self" were put forth earlier by the 12th Supreme Patriarch of Thailand in 1939. According to Williams, the Supreme Patriarch's interpretation echoes the tathāgatagarbha sutras.{{sfn|Williams|2008|p=126}}Several notable teachers of the Thai Forest Tradition have also described ideas in contrast to absolute non-self. Ajahn Maha Bua, a well known meditation master, described the citta (mind) as being an indestructible reality that does not fall under anattā.pp. 101–103 Maha Boowa, Arahattamagga, Arahattaphala: the Path to Arahantship â€“ A Compilation of Venerable Acariya Maha Boowa’s Dhamma Talks about His Path of Practice, translated by Bhikkhu Silaratano, 2005,weblink (consulted 16 March 2009) He has stated that not-self is merely a perception that is used to pry one away from infatuation with the concept of a self, and that once this infatuation is gone the idea of not-self must be dropped as well.{{Citation|last=UWE STOES|title=Thanassaro Bhikkhu|date=2015-04-22|url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1S40nS_0R9Y&t=4545s|accessdate=2017-09-30}} American monk Thanissaro Bhikkhu of the Thai Forest Tradition refers to the Buddha's statements on non-self as a path to awakening rather than a universal truth. Scholars Alexander Wynne and Rupert Gethin also take a similar position as Thanissaro Bhikkhu, arguing that the Buddha's description of non-self in the five aggregates do not necessarily mean there is no self, stating that the five aggregates are not descriptions of a human being but phenomena for one to observe. Wynne argues that the Buddha's statements on anattā are a "not-self" teaching rather than a "no-self" teaching.JOURNAL, Wynne, Alexander, 2009, Early Evidence for the ‘no self’ doctrine?,weblink Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies, 63–64, Thanissaro Bhikkhu points to the Ananda Sutta, where the Buddha stays silent when asked whether there is a 'self' or not,WEB,weblink Ananda Sutta: To Ananda, www.accesstoinsight.org, en, 2017-05-14, as a major cause of the dispute.WEB,weblink Introduction to the Avyakata Samyutta: (Undeclared-connected), www.accesstoinsight.org, en, 2017-05-14, In Thailand, this dispute on the nature of teachings about 'self' and 'non-self' in Buddhism has led to arrest warrants, attacks and threats.{{sfn|Mackenzie|2007|p=51–2}}

Anatman in Mahayana Buddhism

{{see also|sunyata}}
There are many different views of Anatta ({{zh|c=無我|p=wúwǒ}}; Japanese: 無我 muga) within various Mahayana schools.King, R., Early Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism: The Mahayana Context of the Gaudapadiya-Karika (Albany: SUNY Press, 1995), p. 97.Nagarjuna, the founder of Madhyamaka (middle way) school of Mahayana Buddhism, analyzed dharma first as factors of experience. He, states David Kalupahana, analyzed how these experiences relate to "bondage and freedom, action and consequence", and thereafter analyzed the notion of personal self (attā, ātman).BOOK, Nāgārjuna, David J. Kalupahana (Translator), Mūlamadhyamakakārikā of Nāgārjuna,weblink 1996, Motilal Banarsidass, 978-81-208-0774-7, 56, Nagarjuna asserted that the notion of a self is associated with the notion of one's own identity and corollary ideas of pride, selfishness and a sense of psychophysical personality. This is all false, and leads to bondage in his Madhyamaka thought. There can be no pride nor possessiveness, in someone who accepts Anattā and denies "self" which is the sense of personal identity of oneself, others or anything, states Nagarjuna.BOOK, David Loy, Awareness Bound and Unbound: Buddhist Essays,weblink 2009, State University of New York Press, 978-1-4384-2680-8, 105–106, , Quote: Nagarjuna, the second century Indian Buddhist philosopher, used shunyata not to characterize the true nature of reality but to deny that anything has any self-existence or reality of its own. Further, all obsessions are avoided when a person accepts emptiness (sunyata).BOOK, David Loy, Awareness Bound and Unbound: Buddhist Essays,weblink 2009, State University of New York Press, 978-1-4384-2680-8, 36–38, Nagarjuna denied there is anything called a self-nature as well as other-nature, emphasizing true knowledge to be comprehending emptiness.BOOK, Diane Morgan, The Buddhist Experience in America,weblink 2004, Greenwood, 978-0-313-32491-8, 46, BOOK, David F. Burton, Emptiness Appraised: A Critical Study of Nagarjuna's Philosophy,weblink 2015, Routledge, 978-1-317-72322-6, 31–32, 48 with footnote 38, Anyone who has not dissociated from his belief in personality in himself or others, through the concept of self, is in a state of Avidya (ignorance) and caught in the cycle of rebirths and redeaths.BOOK, Nāgārjuna, David J. Kalupahana (Translator), Mūlamadhyamakakārikā of Nāgārjuna,weblink 1996, Motilal Banarsidass, 978-81-208-0774-7, 56–59, BOOK, Ian Harris, The Continuity of Madhyamaka and Yogācāra in Indian Mahāyāna Buddhism,weblink 1991, BRILL Academic, 90-04-09448-2, 146–147, The early Mahayana Buddhism texts link their discussion of "emptiness" (shunyata) to Anatta and Nirvana. They do so, states Mun-Keat Choong, in three ways: first, in the common sense of a monk's meditative state of emptiness; second, with the main sense of Anatta or 'everything in the world is empty of self'; third, with the ultimate sense of Nirvana or realization of emptiness and thus an end to rebirth cycles of suffering.BOOK, Mun-Keat Choong, The Notion of Emptiness in Early Buddhism,weblink 1999, Motilal Banarsidass, 978-81-208-1649-7, 1–4, 85–88, The Anatta doctrine is another aspect of shunyata, its realization is the nature of the nirvana state and to an end to rebirths.BOOK, Ray Billington, Understanding Eastern Philosophy,weblink 2002, Routledge, 978-1-134-79348-8, 58–60, BOOK, David Loy, Awareness Bound and Unbound: Buddhist Essays,weblink 2009, State University of New York Press, 978-1-4384-2680-8, 35–39, BOOK, Stephan Schuhmacher, The Encyclopedia of Eastern Philosophy and Religion: Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Zen,weblink 1994, Shambhala, 978-0-87773-980-7, 12,

Tathagatagarbha Sutras: Buddha is True Self

Some 1st-millennium CE Buddhist texts suggest concepts that have been controversial because they imply a "self-like" concept.BOOK,weblink Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations, Routledge, 2008, 978-1-134-25056-1, 125–127, Paul Williams, BOOK, S. K. Hookham, The Buddha Within: Tathagatagarbha Doctrine According to the Shentong Interpretation of the Ratnagotravibhaga,weblink 1991, State University of New York Press, 978-0-7914-0357-0, 100–104, In particular are the Tathāgatagarbha sÅ«tras, where the title itself means a garbha (womb, matrix, seed) containing Tathagata (Buddha). These Sutras suggest, states Paul Williams, that 'all sentient beings contain a Tathagata' as their 'essence, core or essential inner nature'.BOOK, Paul Williams, Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations,weblink 2008, Routledge, 978-1-134-25056-1, 104, The Tathagatagarbha doctrine, at its earliest probably appeared about the later part of the 3rd century CE, and is verifiable in Chinese translations of 1st millennium CE. Most scholars consider the Tathagatagarbha doctrine of an 'essential nature' in every living being is equivalent to 'Self',{{refn|group=note|Wayman and Wayman have disagreed with this view, and they state that the Tathagatagarbha is neither self nor sentient being, nor soul, nor personality.BOOK, Paul Williams, Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations,weblink 2008, Routledge, 978-1-134-25056-1, 107, }} and it contradicts the Anatta doctrines in a vast majority of Buddhist texts, leading scholars to posit that the Tathagatagarbha Sutras were written to promote Buddhism to non-Buddhists.BOOK, Paul Williams, Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations,weblink 2008, Routledge, 978-1-134-25056-1, 104–105, 108, BOOK, Merv Fowler, Buddhism: Beliefs and Practices,weblink 1999, Sussex Academic Press, 978-1-898723-66-0, 101–102, , Quote: "Some texts of the tathagatagarbha literature, such as the Mahaparinirvana Sutra actually refer to an atman, though other texts are careful to avoid the term. This would be in direct opposition to the general teachings of Buddhism on anatta. Indeed, the distinctions between the general Indian concept of atman and the popular Buddhist concept of Buddha-nature are often blurred to the point that writers consider them to be synonymous."The Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra explicitly asserts that the Buddha used the term "Self" in order to win over non-Buddhist ascetics.BOOK, Paul Williams, Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations,weblink 2008, Routledge, 978-1-134-25056-1, 109, Quote: "... it refers to the Buddha using the term "Self" in order to win over non-Buddhist ascetics."BOOK, John W. Pettit, Mipham's Beacon of Certainty: Illuminating the View of Dzogchen, the Great Perfection,weblink 1999, Simon and Schuster, 978-0-86171-157-4, 48–49, The Ratnagotravibhāga (also known as Uttaratantra), another text composed in the first half of 1st millennium CE and translated into Chinese in 511 CE, points out that the teaching of the Tathagatagarbha doctrine is intended to win sentient beings over to abandoning "self-love" (atma-sneha) – considered to be one of the defects by Buddhism.BOOK, Paul Williams, Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations,weblink 2008, Routledge, 978-1-134-25056-1, 109–112, BOOK, Christopher Bartley, An Introduction to Indian Philosophy: Hindu and Buddhist Ideas from Original Sources,weblink 2015, Bloomsbury Academic, 978-1-4725-2437-9, 105, The 6th-century Chinese Tathagatagarbha translation states that "Buddha has shiwo (True Self) which is beyond being and nonbeing". However, the Ratnagotravibhāga asserts that the "Self" implied in Tathagatagarbha doctrine is actually "not-Self".BOOK, Paul Williams, Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations,weblink 2008, Routledge, 978-1-134-25056-1, 112, BOOK, S. K. Hookham, The Buddha Within: Tathagatagarbha Doctrine According to the Shentong Interpretation of the Ratnagotravibhaga,weblink 1991, State University of New York Press, 978-0-7914-0357-0, 96, According to some scholars, the Buddha-nature discussed in these sutras does not represent a substantial self; rather, it is a positive language and expression of śūnyatā "emptiness" and represents the potentiality to realize Buddhahood through Buddhist practices. Other scholars do in fact detect leanings towards monism in these tathagatagarbha references.Jamie Hubbard, Absolute Delusion, Perfect Buddhahood, University of Hawai’i Press, Honolulu, 2001, pp. 99-100 Michael Zimmermann sees the notion of an unperishing and eternal self in the Tathagatagarbha Sutra.Zimmermann, Michael (2002), weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20131111023508weblink"> A Buddha Within: The TathāgatagarbhasÅ«tra, Biblotheca Philologica et Philosophica Buddhica VI, The International Research Institute for Advanced Buddhology, Soka University, p. 64 Zimmermann also avers that 'the existence of an eternal, imperishable self, that is, buddhahood, is definitely the basic point of the Tathagatagarbha Sutra'.Michael Zimmermann, A Buddha Within, p. 64 He further indicates that there is no evident interest found in this sutra in the idea of Emptiness (sunyata).Zimmermann, A Buddha Within, p. 81 Williams states that the "Self" in Tathagatagarbha Sutras is actually "non-Self", and neither identical nor comparable to the Hindu concepts of Brahman and Self.

Anatman in Vajrayana Buddhism

(File:Guimet Havajra y Nairatmya 01.JPG|thumb|240px|Tibetan and Nepalese Buddhist deities Nairatmya and Hevajra in an embrace. Nairatmya is the goddess of emptiness, and of Anatta (non-self, non-soul, selflessness) realization.BOOK, Kun-Dga'-Bstan, Kunga Tenpay Nyima, Jared Rhoton, The Three Levels of Spiritual Perception: A Commentary on the Three Visions,weblink 2003, Simon and Schuster, 978-0-86171-368-4, 392, )The Anatta or Anatman doctrine is extensively discussed in and partly inspires the ritual practices of the Vajrayana tradition. The Tibetan terms such as bdag med refer to "without a self, insubstantial, anatman".BOOK, Garab Dorje, The Golden Letters: The Three Statements of Garab Dorje, the First Teacher of Dzogchen, Together with a Commentary by,weblink 1996, Snow Lion Publications, 978-1-55939-050-7, 319, These discussions, states Jeffrey Hopkins, assert the "non-existence of a permanent, unitary and independent self", and attribute these ideas to the Buddha.BOOK, Jeffrey Hopkins, Absorption in No External World,weblink 2006, Snow Lion Publications, 978-1-55939-946-3, 400–405, The ritual practices in Vajrayana Buddhism employs the concept of deities, to end self-grasping, and to manifest as a purified, enlightened deity as part of the Vajrayana path to liberation from rebirths.BOOK, Khenchen Konchog Gyaltshen, A Complete Guide to the Buddhist Path,weblink 2010, Snow Lion Publications, 978-1-55939-790-2, 259–261, BOOK, Karma-Ran-Byun-Kun-Khyab-Phrin-Las, Denis Tondrup, Luminous Mind: The Way of the Buddha,weblink 1997, Simon and Schuster, 978-0-86171-118-5, 204–206, BOOK, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Essence of Vajrayana: The Highest Yoga Tantra Practice of Heruka Body Mandala,weblink 2000, Motilal Banarsidass, 978-81-208-1729-6, 140–143, One such deity is goddess Nairatmya (literally, non-soul, non-self).BOOK, John A. Grimes, A Concise Dictionary of Indian Philosophy: Sanskrit Terms Defined in English,weblink 1996, State University of New York Press, 978-0-7914-3067-5, 199, BOOK, A. K. Warder, Indian Buddhism,weblink 2000, Motilal Banarsidass, 978-81-208-1741-8, 473–474, BOOK, Asaṅga, Janice Dean Willis, On Knowing Reality: The Tattvārtha Chapter of Asaṅga's Bodhisattvabhūmi,weblink 2002, Motilal Banarsidass, 978-81-208-1106-5, 24, She symbolizes, states Miranda Shaw, that "self is an illusion" and "all beings and phenomenal appearances lack an abiding self or essence" in Vajrayana Buddhism.BOOK, Miranda Eberle Shaw, Buddhist Goddesses of India,weblink 2006, Princeton University Press, 0-691-12758-1, 387–390,

Anatta – the difference between Buddhism and Hinduism

Anatta is a central doctrine of Buddhism, and marks one of the major differences between Buddhism and Hinduism. Buddhists do not believe that at the core of all human beings and living creatures, there is any "eternal, essential and absolute something called a soul, self or atman".John C. Plott et al (2000), Global History of Philosophy: The Axial Age, Volume 1, Motilal Banarsidass, {{ISBN|978-8120801585}}, page 63, Quote: "The Buddhist schools reject any Ātman concept. As we have already observed, this is the basic and ineradicable distinction between Hinduism and Buddhism".Helen J Baroni (2002), The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Zen Buddhism, Rosen Publishing, {{ISBN|978-0-8239-2240-6}}, page 14 Buddhism, from its earliest days, has denied the existence of the "self, soul" in its core philosophical and ontological texts. In its soteriological themes, Buddhism has defined nirvana as that blissful state when a person, amongst other things, realizes that he or she has "no self, no soul".David Loy (1982), Enlightenment in Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta: Are Nirvana and Moksha the Same?, International Philosophical Quarterly, Volume 23, Issue 1, pages 65-74The traditions within Hinduism believe in Atman. The pre-Buddhist Upanishads of Hinduism assert that there is a permanent Atman, and is an ultimate metaphysical reality.BOOK, Peter Harvey, The Selfless Mind: Personality, Consciousness and Nirvana in Early Buddhism,weblink 2013, Routledge, 978-1-136-78336-4, 34, 38, This sense of self, is expressed as "I am" in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.1, states Peter Harvey, when nothing existed before the start of the universe. The Upanishadic scriptures hold that this soul or self is underlying the whole world. At the core of all human beings and living creatures, assert the Hindu traditions, there is "eternal, innermost essential and absolute something called a soul, self that is atman." Within the diverse schools of Hinduism, there are differences of perspective on whether souls are distinct, whether Supreme Soul or God exists, whether the nature of Atman is dual or non-dual, and how to reach moksha. However, despite their internal differences, one shared foundational premise of Hinduism is that "soul, self exists", and that there is bliss in seeking this self, knowing self, and self-realization.Sengaku Mayeda (2000), Sankara and Buddhism, in New Perspectives on Advaita Vedānta (Editors: Richard V. De Smet, Bradley J. Malkovsky), Brill Academic, {{ISBN|978-9004116665}}, pages 18-29}}Both Buddhism and Hinduism distinguish ego-related "I am, this is mine", from their respective abstract doctrines of "Anatta" and "Atman". This, states Peter Harvey, may have been an influence of Buddhism on Hinduism.BOOK, Peter Harvey, The Selfless Mind: Personality, Consciousness and Nirvana in Early Buddhism,weblink 2013, Routledge, 978-1-136-78336-4, 34, , Quote: "The post-Buddhist Matri Upanishad holds that only defiled individual self, rather than the universal one, thinks 'this is I' or 'this is mine'. This is very reminiscent of Buddhism, and may well have been influenced by it to divorce the universal Self from such egocentric associations".

See also

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Notes

{{reflist|group=note|2}}

References

{{reflist|2}}

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Web sources
{{reflist|group=web}}

External links

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