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Sunyata, Shunyata



According to the Mahayana teaching of sunyata, beings and things have no intrinsic existence in themselves. All phenomena come into being because of conditions created by other phenomena. Thus, they have no existence of their own and are empty of a permanent self. There is neither reality not not-reality; only relativity.

This emptiness is not nihilistic. All phenomena are void of self-essence, but it is incorrect to say that phenomena exist or don’t exist. Form and appearance create the world of myriad things, but the myriad things have identity only in relation to each other. Beyond identity, shunyata is an absolute reality that is all things and beings, unmanifested.

Also Known As: Emptiness
Alternate Spellings: Sunyata
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