Dharmadhatu Foundation

"Transforming Self, Transforming World"
" Pioneering Culturally Appropriate Community-based development in Nepal "

Ramesh Tamang - Nepal
Oct 7 2010
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Buddhist Middle-Way philosophy

In the Indian philosophical systems there existed to extreme positions of eternalism referring to Vedic assertion of permanent and self-enduring Self and/or Soul (Atma) and nihilism referring to the Caravaka assertion of causeless existence. The middle way refutes both of these positions and asserts that all phenomena including a life of individual are empty of own-characteristic (nisvabhava) hence non-existence (SUNYA) in essence. The seeming characteristic (svabhava) which makes the basis to affirm existence of phenomena is acquired through interdependency (pratityasamutpada) of causes (hetu) and conditions (pratyaya). The insubstantiality of phenomena is referred to as emptiness (Sunyata) the central thesis of the Middle way philosophy (Madhyamaka), which is ontological truth according to Buddhist Middle-Way philosophy. Emptiness here must not be misunderstood as negation of phenomena but insubstantiality of phenomena including the gigantic world.