The concept of anatta

  • Created by: gemshort
  • Created on: 01-05-18 14:07

Anatta is often translated as 'no soul' or 'no self' but perhaps the most beneficial translation for understanding the idea of anatta is 'not self'

  • Later Buddhist philosophy extends the principle of anatta to all existence and directly relates to an absence of 'own being' (svabhava) or the 'emptiness' (shunyata) of all conditioned phenomena
  • As anatta is one of the three lakshanas, it is true of all existence

The Buddha, when meditating, could not find any one thing that was unchanging within himself

  • There was no evidence of the underlying soul or atman found in Hinduism; instead, the Buddha found that many things combine to make a human being
  • This view is materialistic in the philosophical sense and rejects the existence of an eternal, unchanging essence within an individual
  • The concept of anatta appears to be totally unique and it has been argued that anatta makes Buddhism unique among world religions
  • Ajahn Chah compared


No comments have yet been made

Similar Religious Studies resources:

See all Religious Studies resources »See all Buddhism resources »