This link mentions that there is an existence of uncreate state of self(opposite of created state of self..correct me if I am wrong..).

The man who is without blind faith, who knows the Uncreated, who has severed all links, destroyed all causes (for karma, good and evil), and thrown out all desires — he, truly, is the most excellent of men.

My questions are :

What is the meaning of the word Uncreate?

Is Uncreate state a noun or a verb?

5 Answers 5


In this case, uncreated means, non-contrived, natural, something that does not require an effort to maintain.

I once heard a myth, not sure how real, that New York City has a massive underground flooding problem - but because the city infrastructure situation is so insanely complicated, no-one can even dream of fixing the leaks - instead they just have a system of pumps running 24/7 pumping the water. The city can only exist thanks to the pumps, if the pumps were to stop even for an hour, the city would get flooded and the rest of the infrastructure would collapse. This is how the story goes anyway.

Samsara is like that. It requires continuous maintenance. We are not normally aware of this, but we do put tremendous effort 24/7 to maintain Samsara. We do it ourselves.

Our Ego (image of self) is contrived, and requires constant effort to maintain. Our idea of the world is contrived as well. Our idea of how the world should be is also contrived.
The pumps that maintain these systems are our narratives that we keep telling ourselves again and again. The whole mass of suffering is based on these pumps.

Similarly, mere intellectual understanding of Dharma, of Anatta, of Emptiness etc. is equally contrived. Because it is contrived, it does not hold under pressure of real-life circumstances.

The uncreated, the natural, is always there, like the clear sky above the clouds, we just have to stop the pumps in order to see it. Direct experience belongs to this category, and so will hold under any pressure.

This is the meaning of "uncreated" here, not in the active sense as in "deconstruct". Although come to think of it, certain amount of deconstruction (of ego, of habitual illusions) is sometimes necessary too.

  • But there is a limit to this analogy. Suppose the pumps start again then the uncreate state would vanish again. But in actuality uncreate state can not lead to any creation any further once it is attained. Uncreate does not vanish once attained. Uncreate does not depend on conditions. It is an eternal state. Commented Nov 5, 2017 at 13:41
  • Different Buddhist schools have different opinions on whether arahants (arhats) are fallible. Some say, they can still regress. The sun is always there but the clouds can come back. The weather is impermanent, after all.
    – Andriy Volkov
    Commented Nov 5, 2017 at 14:06
  • There are no Arahants to fall back. Once you have merged into the big fire there is no coming back. There is no way to identify which flame was you. It is the Uncreate state. There is no information of what was lost. It was always eternally present. Commented Nov 5, 2017 at 14:11
  • That sounds like state of Brahma, unity with All. Nibbana/nirvana is not merging with All, it's letting go of all attachments, prajna-paramita.
    – Andriy Volkov
    Commented Nov 5, 2017 at 14:18
  • I did not say merging with All. I said merging with the state of Nibbana. You can not merge without letting go of all the attachments!! Commented Nov 5, 2017 at 14:38

The English word "uncreated" is an adjective which, here, is used as a noun (or is used to imply a noun, or used without a noun): i.e. "the uncreated [something]" (where [something] is an implicit noun, for example "state"). Using an adjective without a noun, like this, is a slightly unusual form of English.

Its meaning is similar to "unconditioned". It literally means "not created".

There's another translation of the Dhammapada here, which I like because:

  • It includes the original Pali
  • I think it's a careful translation (approved by a committee)
  • It also includes an "origin story" for each verse.

As it happens, this translation clarifies that it's talking about Nibbana:

  1. He who is not credulous, who has realized the Unconditioned (Nibbana), who has cut off the links of the round of rebirths, who has destroyed all consequences of good and bad deeds, who has discarded all craving, is indeed the noblest of all men (i.e., an arahat).

See also this answer, which lists 33 synonyms for (or attributes of, nouns used as names for, and/or adjectives which describe) Nibbana.

As for the Pali, the word in question here is Akataññū.

According to https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?t=27280 or (similarly) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9ebC4xQmlg apparently that verse is difficult to translate without the commentary: and I think they're saying that Akataññū is some kind of play on words: i.e. it usually means something like, "not knowing what's created for one's benefit (therefore ungrateful)"; and here, it means, "knowing what's not created (i.e. Nibbana)".

  • Have you heard the song "unbreak my heart" ...?"unbreak" means undo the act of breaking. Similarly uncreate is undo of the act of creation. It is like you create an animal on a slate then you restore the slate to exactly same position as it was previously before the creation of animal thus doing the uncreate... Commented Oct 31, 2017 at 15:14

To complement the answers here, something created (saṅkhāra, "put together", a "heap") is always unstable, impermanent: it "becomes otherwise", "it ceases", "it dies", etc. Something created is subject to these outcomes due to being conditioned. Conditioned by those things that were "put together" that gave rise to it, that created it. As is the case in samsara, the things that made it are also "created", conditioned, recursively.

Then, uncreated is the very opposite. It's not "made" or "put together" from other things (as is the case with saṅkhāra). Because it wasn't "put together" or "constructed", it's not conditioned by what, otherwise, constructs it. No change can be observed, therefore, it is stable.



Brahman, the ultimate reality, the One, the non-duality - source of all creation.
From the One all forms of consciousness, from the lowest to the highest, are born in the duality (material) world.
At birth, we rise like the waves rise from the ocean and return to the ocean when our journey is over.
All that is born in the material world has the Brahman nature.
But only the ones that attain enlightenment return to the source as buddhas.

P.S. Words are labels not truths. They only point to the truth.
Like "APPLE" - that is a word, not an apple. Only an apple is an apple.
"Uncreated" is a word not a truth. It has no meaning beyond the meaning we give it.

  • This is not a standard way to express Buddhist doctrine, that I know of. Wikipedia claims, "Buddhism denies both Brahman and Atman concepts in ancient Hindu literature, and posits Śūnyatā (emptiness, voidness) and Anatta (non-Self, no soul) concept instead."
    – ChrisW
    Commented Nov 1, 2017 at 11:44

Uncreated to me in a Buddhist context is a adjective. Also, generally means not a mental, thought, or social, familial belief or orientation.

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