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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46
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18answers
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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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4answers
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Have any Buddhist thinkers responded to the critique of the Brahma Sutras?

By far the most popular school of Hindu philosophy, which almost all Hindus nowadays belong to, is the Vedanta school, which is based on an ancient Hindu work called the Brahma Sutras or Vedanta ...
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14answers
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If anatta is a reality, then how do you explain Volition or Will?

I'm just trying to understand the concept of anatta better here. Buddhism tells me there is the concept of no-self (anatta), and even the so called conditional self is actually an illusion that arises ...
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11answers
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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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What is the difference between non-self and emptiness?

Non-self (anātman) and emptiness (śūnya or śūnyatā) are very similar aspects of the Truth of Suffering. So similar that they are hard to distinguish apart. What is the difference between them? (Or ...
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10answers
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How does Buddhism explain consciousness if there is no self?

One major differing point between Hinduism and Buddhism is the understanding of the self. Buddhist reject the Brahminical notion of an eternal, non-material soul substance that is distinct from the ...
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3answers
287 views

What is it that is re-incarnated ? [duplicate]

I have been reading Mahayana philosophy. It proposes non-self and that self does not exist in the 5 aggregates. If the self/atman does not exist, what is that is re-incarnated? How can nothing ...
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4answers
681 views

If there is no soul or self, why did the Buddha speak of his past lives?

How is it possible that he had past lives and how did he know they were his? What defines them as his?
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7answers
593 views

Do metta practices and anatta contradict each other?

When I was taught the Metta Bhavna meditation practice it was suggested that I repeat the following to myself May I be well May I be happy May I be free Then again repeating the same again to ...
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13answers
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Is Anatman the most important concept in Buddhism?

Buddhism begins with The Truth of Suffering. That seems like the best point to get someone's attention, and is basically indisputable. The Truth of Impermanence is fairly easy to accept, because we ...
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6answers
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My thoughts don't happen to other people so why are they 'not mine'?

Considering the five aggregates and the sense in which they are all not-self. Thoughts (samskāra) are one of the five aggregates so they too are 'not me' or 'not mine'. In one sense this is a ...
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4answers
466 views

Was the doctrine of 'Anatta', accepted as doctrine by modern Buddhism, actually taught by the Buddha?

Understanding of 'Anatta' is key to so much Buddhist meditation practice and philosophy that I've been exposed to but (call me conservative) I gain great confidence when the Buddha himself had ...
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10answers
7k views

Who am I- according to Buddhism

What does Buddha say about the question,"Who am I"? Our body and mind perishes with time. If so then who actually attains the Truth?
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5answers
620 views

Keeping in mind impermanence, suffering and non-self

If one doesn't know the notion of "impermanence, suffering and non-self", can one see it by one's self? I know that I don't need to "force" myself to see impermanence: but do I need to keep in mind "...
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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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7answers
473 views

Caught in a bind; what to do?

I would imagine the following may be a bit odd to be asking here outright and dare I say it, a little egoic to do so, but I was referred to this place to ask questions, and I have some questions. But ...
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6answers
297 views

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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3answers
707 views

What are the main arguments in favor of the Anātman view over the Ātman view?

The main difference (I know) between Buddhism and Hinduism is that the first defends Anātman theory whereas the second defends Ātman theory. What are the main arguments in favor of the Anātman ...
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9answers
725 views

Why is “I have no self” a wrong view?

In the Sabbasava Sutta (MN2), the view that "I have no self" is listed as one of the six wrong views and one who holds this view will not be freed from suffering. Questions: Why is "I have no self" ...
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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, ...
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4answers
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Why are the 16 Unwise Reflections (“shall I exist in future” etc.) considered unwise?

In a quest to find the Buddhist meaning of life, I stumbled upon The Unanswered Questions and the Unwise Reflections (Sabbasava-Sutta), and I am surprised that The Buddha actually advised against ...
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4answers
375 views

Is it helpful to avoid first person pronouns when speaking and writing?

"There's no 'I' in team" is an aphorism that promotes the selfless group effort, but what about first person pronouns from a Buddhist perspective such as 'I', 'me', 'mine', and 'my'. I am also ...
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4answers
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Without an enduring quid between lifes, how to explain past life recalling?

How a being (be it a Buddha) can remember its past lives, if there is no "quid"/soul/self enduring for more time?
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3answers
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In a Buddhist perspective how do we recall memories of this life and beyond?

What is the Buddhist perspective on how we store and recall memories of this life and beyond? Since there is not solid core (Atman) as in the Hindu perspective which all such memories are stored and ...
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8answers
654 views

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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4answers
489 views

Am I “fooling” myself?

As I practice more and more on seeing life as Dukkha, something interesting happens. I feel a greater sense of gratitude and contentment. I am not talking about seeing things as they are directly ...
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6answers
429 views

Annatta and taking responsibility

I'm a bit confused about "not self". How do you take responsibility for your actions if you don't see them as your actions but just a process happening? For example if you're an alcoholic part of the ...
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4answers
395 views

How does the idea of Bodhisatva in Mahayana mesh with anattā?

As this is my first posted question, I welcome input as to how to improve it. Many thanks in advance. When I have heard Mahayana practitioners discuss the concept of Bodhisatva as it varies from ...
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2answers
208 views

What is the nature of impermanence, desire and anatman?

If everything in unstable, unsatisfying and out of control then what is the point in living? Isn't the 'point of life' meant to be a journey to stability, satisfaction and self control? Thanks :).
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2answers
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Can anyone identify which suttas these quotes (having to do with the sense of self) come from?

This document contains instructions for ridding the sense of a personal self. I was wondering which suttas (or other texts) the quotes at the end come from: “By rightly understanding ‘I am,’ one ...
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1answer
209 views

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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2answers
722 views

Notions of self in religions that blend Buddhism and Hinduism

I read in Peter Harvey's book an Introduction to Buddhism that there was a syncretistic religion in Bali that was a mixture of Buddhism and Hinduism. He didn't give many details as it was a very minor ...
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1answer
348 views

What is the best translation of Anatta into English?

Is the best translation of Anatta "non-self" or "there is nothing that you can take as me, mine, self or non-changing everlasting controllable part which can be identified as me, mine or everlasting ...
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5answers
150 views

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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5answers
600 views

Should my happiness be dependent on the suffering of others?

Once I asked a wise man "Why should I be happy?" He said "Because there are people more miserable than you. Thank God that at least you are better than them." There are couple of depressed kids living ...
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7answers
245 views

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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3answers
295 views

How do you understand Ananda Sutta?

How do you understand the Ananda Sutta? How do you place it in relation to the Atman or Anatta (An-atman) doctrine? SN 44.10 Then the wanderer Vacchagotta went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, ...
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2answers
143 views

Reconciling anātman and ancestor worship/veneration

Buddhism teaches the concept of anattā or anātman. In short: There is no "soul" or "essence", only "processes" within the framework of the five skandhas. This gives the illusion of the individual ...
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4answers
329 views

Did the Buddha said that there is no self there is no soul?

In this article, the writer of the article claims, purports or alleges that Bhikkhu Thanissaro and Bhikkhu Bodhi state that the Buddha NEVER said that there was no self. The Buddha NEVER said that ...
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3answers
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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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6answers
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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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2answers
197 views

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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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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7answers
208 views

If i am the result of an aggregate, how does one refer to oneself?

It is my understanding that illusion, reality, rebirth and reincarnation are a result of the aggregates i.e. vision, taste, sound, emotions, smell and mind. - Source If one is am simply a composition ...
3
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7answers
910 views

How can the theory of emptiness be true and yet the self still transmigrates and takes rebirth?

The Theory of "Emptiness" is the concept that all phenomenon are empty of inherent existence. Something has the illusion of existence when the right causes and conditions arise. Example: there is no ...
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8answers
399 views

If I am not the skandhas, then what entity/group of entities am I being responsible for by being a good person?

I'm look more for an epistemological Buddhist answer to this question. If I am anatta (not self because composite) then who is the one responsible for his/her actions? Why am I still responsible for ...
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4answers
304 views

Should I identify myself as formless?

Namo Buddhaya. Sabbe Dhamma Anatta. Form is Anatta too. Meaning form is not worth identifying as myself, me or mine. Does that mean that I should identify myself as formless ? Am I in form or am I ...
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5answers
652 views

Understanding anatta via “there are no computer programs” analogy

I tried to find an analogy that would help me to understand anatta: Just as we can say "there is no self" (there are just mental aggregates interacting with each other and eventually causing some ...
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5answers
206 views

The actualization of Anatta

Having attempted to understand the actualization of Anatta, i am at a complete loss. The more i endeavor to understand the meaning, the more confusing it seems. I have read; What is the best ...
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5answers
440 views

Can I say that this question exists but no questioner is found?

Anatta is beautifully described here. The following quote sums up the idea of no self: "Mere suffering exists, no sufferer is found; The deeds are, but no doer of the deeds is there; Nibbāna is, ...