Questions tagged [anatman]

The Sanskrit term for the concept of 'not self' or 'no fixed self'. This is classified among the three marks of existence, namely impermanence, suffering and no fixed self. The equivalent Pali term is Anatta.

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12answers
730 views

How is it wrong to believe that a self exists, or that it doesn't?

the one place where the Buddha was asked point-blank whether or not there was a self, he refused to answer. When later asked why, he said that to hold either that there is a self or that there is ...
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If there is no soul, how can there be rebirth?

Anatta is often described as "not-self" which I understand to mean that our identities are illusions. But it's also described as "soullessness" which I think implies that there is no mind other than ...
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The thorny issue of anatta

(English is not my mother tongue, sorry in advance if I make mistakes) I recently read Thanissaro Bhikkhu's writings [1] [2] on anatta and although I found his arguments persuasive I am still ...
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What is the correct meaning of dhamma, dharma, atta, anatta?

I am unable to understand different meanings of words dhamma, dharma, atta, anatta... Does dhamma means as "path" or "truth" or "teaching" as in Ariyapariyesana Sutta or as "phenomenon" or as "...
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5answers
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Soul that transmigrates?

In Timsa Sutta Buddha says: "What do you think, monks? Which is greater, the blood you have shed from having your heads cut off while transmigrating & wandering this long, long time, or the water ...
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Anatta & Atman the same thing?

I read that atman is pure bliss I read that anatta is pure bliss -Is it possible that these deep concepts are pointing to the same thing at the end of the day? -Is atman the same as anatta ...
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9answers
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What is the meaning of Anicca and Anatta?

Most of the English translation I read, Anatta is translated as not-self and Anicca as impermanence. However many Sri Lankan Buddhist monks do not agree with this translation. They say it is a miss ...
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How do you contemplate delight you get due to action that leads to detachment?

Let us follow the unbeaten track, the dukkha in right action. You see a man in need, you feel compassion, wishing him well you help him with his worldly need, then you feel delighted of your action....
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Why are there so many different paths?

I will admit I am just starting to look into buddhism and such. I am confused because so far I understand that the Satipatthana sutta provides everything anyone needs to become 'enlightened'. If ...
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3answers
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Personal continuity in the absence of a persistent, unchanging self

How is personal continuity (including continuity at rebirth) explained in Buddhism in the absence of a persistent, unchanging self? Do all Buddhists agree on a single explanation? I am reading the ...
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8answers
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If there be no soul or transmigrating entity that takes rebirth, who or what bears or enjoys the consequences or fruits of karma?

How can a religion or school of thought justify or rationalise the proposal that potential suffering could be inflicted on a subsequent rebirth - to all intents and purposes, a new individual, ...
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4answers
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How are the three marks of existence experienced through Samadhi meditation?

Could dry vipassana & pure one-pointed samadhi type meditations just be different approaches to the same enlightenment? If one attains the fourth jhana with one pointed concentration does one ...
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5answers
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Should I address myself as I/my or you/your to remind myself of non-self?

A friend asked this mind-bending question on social media: when you’re talking to yourself in your head (or out loud) do you refer to yourself as we, I, you, or they/she/he/other pronoun? This got ...
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4answers
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Is this just a logic or experience about mind(reality)?

While doing self enquiry kind of meditation(also doing vipassana) there is feel of understanding/experience/logic that make myself convinced(but not strongly) that "me" is not the thoughts or the body ...
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Which path might be appropriate for me? [closed]

I've been learning about Dharma traditions for a while now. In short: I am attracted by the figure of Siddhartha Gautama and by the fact that Buddhism is not based on faith in the scriptures (nastika)...
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Unconscious Grasping to a Self

In daily life, I guess my self-grasping is not very salient; people tell me I'm considerate, open. However, I've written stories in the past, and in my fiction I project these fantasies that are ...
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6answers
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How does *Buddhist* meditation differ from others and lead to awakening?

The practice of meditation is central to certain Buddhist traditions, e.g. Vajrayana, Dzogchen, Zen, important for recognizing Buddha nature. Furthermore, Vajrayana and Theravada traditions assert ...
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2answers
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Does emptiness & no-self work together?

Emptiness seems to be very prevalent in Dhamma after Theravada. But I have seen that it still exists in Theravada, it has just been ignored compared to other teachings. Why is emptiness ignored so ...
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5answers
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How can there be knowledge of unconditioned phenomenon without any knower?

It's strongly maintained by almost all Buddhists that there is no ultimate permanent knower. They maintain Nirvana is unconditioned phenomenon. My question is then, who knows there is an existence of ...
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What does “self” mean? [duplicate]

I have had the impression that "self" has at least sometimes been thought of as "something" other than the 5 aggregates. What does "self" mean? What is "sense of self"?
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What is the precise meaning of anatta?

This is focusing in on one specific aspect of what was asked here: What are the three marks of existence? I often hear "anatta" explained as being an expression of the non-existence of the self. ...
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7answers
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I had a no-self experience, why is it a good state?

I've been meditating for about 4 months without (seemingly) getting somewhere up till about 2 weeks ago when something clicked for me after watching some interviews and talks from Gary Weber and ...
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Is “impermanence” a bad translation of “anicca”?

This article explains Anicca, Dukkha, and Anatta -- and in this question I'd like to ask about Anicca. The article says that Anicca doesn't mean, or shouldn't be translated as, "impermanence": ...
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2answers
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No more kamma and vipaka for Noble Ones?

There is a (are) person(s) here, who advocate the denying of "person is heir of his action", advocate no-self, for whom who has reached the path already (Sekha). In that case, do, and why, make ...
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In which suttas does The Buddha cover annihilationism (ucchedavāda)?

Given what I assume was the predominant view of the time, I would not be surprised if there are many Suttas that deal explicitly with resurrection (as opposed to rebirth which seems to be a more ...
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Is there a real difference between “not-self” and “no self”, and if so, which one is correct?

Just in case someone is interested, this is a question based on this thread, but it's not necessary to read such discussion to understand and answer this question. I'd like to know about the ...
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Is there person without consciousness?

If we consider person(Arthma) as a consciousness. When undergoing an operation, we are temporarily unconscious. Then what happens to that person while unconscious? Some related discussion are here: ...
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6answers
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When the Pali suttas say that it is not the “same” thing that is born and dies what do they mean?

When the Pali suttas say that it is not the "same" bundle of psycho-physical properties that is born and dies what do they mean: do they mean that conventional desginators like "I" only refer to ...
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6answers
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How does Theravada practice to obtain the direct knowledge of anatta?

In this comment it is stated that the Pali Suttas contain the correct method for manifesting direct knowledge of anatta. I agree, but I wonder what Theravada adherents would regard as the precise ...
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How is the doctrine of no-self compatible with reincarnation?

The term anattā (Pali) or anātman (Sanskrit) refers to the doctrine of "non-self", that there is no unchanging, permanent soul in living beings. If this is the case, then what exactly is being ...
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4answers
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Buddhism after death

From what I understand the aggregates aren't self but now when a person dies and the material aggregates of his body dissolve then what remains who gets reincarnated ?.If there is no soul then what ...
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Is it correct to say that 'one who craves for …' and imply existence of self?

Buddha says in saṃyuktāgama: “One who craves for and delights in bodily form, craves for and delights in dukkha. One who craves for and delights in dukkha will not attain liberation from dukkha....
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4answers
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Why is there no self in the container of the 5 aggregates?

I can see that there is no self to find in the 5 aggregates. But what about their container ? I have a recurrent thought which troubles me : I imagine the 5 aggregates happening within a frame, ...
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8answers
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Is rebirth essential to Buddhist philosophy?

Elements of Buddhism can be rationally accepted such as the suffering that arises through attachment, the benefits of meditation, and even the acceptance of anatta, or non-self. It seems, however, ...
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3answers
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If the self is scientifically measured, what is the Buddhist view on this?

The concept of self is important in social psychology: self-concept, self-esteem, self-control, self-awareness, etc. As a science, these concepts are measured under scientific methods, and there are ...
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4answers
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Why wouldn't one say “I am the watcher”?

Now separating self from perceptions for me is understandable. That Ego is just an illusion there is no self. But a question arises... Who is the watcher? Can't I say that I am the watcher or is ...
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2answers
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Does the Buddha suggest a change in practice after the unfolding of Sotapanna?

For two years there has been daily meditation. For 10 months there has been the addition of satipathanna practice and present moment awareness. 4 months ago the self was seen as a creation of ...
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2answers
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Linking Madhyamaka emptiness to Theravada emptiness through papanca

From the different answers that I have received on various questions that I've asked, I have come to the following ideas: According to Mahayana Madhyamaka emptiness (shunyata), all phenomena is empty ...
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4answers
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Was something done by me?

All happenings are phenomenon. Happenings are Anatta. Therefore I am not happening neither happening is myself nor am I the owner of happening. Give the above fact , is it true that I need to abandon ...
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6answers
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What does Buddhism add to a Stoic?

Is there any thing that Buddhism can add to a Stoic Pursuit? Below is a friendly laid-back discourse between a Stoic and a Buddhist, which could be used as a guide to what I’m trying to compare. ...
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Why the view “I am the owner of my karma” not contradict anatta?

Why did the Buddha advise lay people and monks to think, "I am the owner of my kamma, the heir of my kamma; I have kamma as my origin, kamma as my relative, kamma as my resort; I will be the heir of ...
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What is Buddhist doctrine on the question of counterfactual definiteness?

Counterfactual definiteness is, "is the ability to speak "meaningfully" of the definiteness of the results of measurements that have not been performed." The classic question to illustrate is, "When ...
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Does false self = no self?

My new understanding (based on this post) is that the self is not permanent and is always changing. However, I still can't make the logical assertion that the self does not exist at all. At this point,...
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4answers
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Mahayana view on why Theravada's anatta is insufficient to uproot ignorance?

A Mahayana-practising member wrote this comment: With respect, the Theravada generally has a much more coarse understanding of emptiness and anatta and is confused as to the object of negation. ...
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6answers
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If Theravada doesn't posit the selflessness of phenomena, then how to interpret SN 22.95?

This question is closely related to this question and this question and this question. There is a Sutta in the Pali Canon that seems to explicitly reject that any of the aggregates is real or ...
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Need better examples for assuming self to be non-form aggregates

Based on the River Sutta below, I can definitely understand assuming the self to be the body. So, when the body becomes old, diseased and approaching death, one assumes that "I am" becoming old, ...
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Is the self an illusion or is it *like* an illusion?

Recently, in explaining the relative unimportance of the question whether phenomena lack true existence it was claimed that, "the self is definitely an illusion" and lacked true existence. This seemed ...
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3answers
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Difference between Theravada's self and Mahayana's intrinsic essence

With reference to this comment: An intrinsic nature, essence or characteristic that is unique to some phenomena that can be described as that phenomena's self. The self of chair would be that ...
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3answers
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Does Theravada posit the selflessness of phenomena?

It is generally taught in Mahayana monastic universities that Theravada does not posit the selflessness of phenomena. There it is taught a dichotomy exists between the tenet systems employed by ...
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Hesitation between Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta

I hesitate between Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta. Buddhism pleases me very much for its willingness to seek an end to suffering, being depressed it speaks to me a lot. But intellectually, ...