Anatmasamjna, Anātmasaṃjñā, Anatma-samjna: 1 definition


Anatmasamjna means something in Buddhism, Pali. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Anatmasamjna in Mahayana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Anātmasaṃjñā (अनात्मसंज्ञा) refers to the “concept of non-self” and represents one of the “ten concepts” (saṃjñā), according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter 37. Accordingly, “since we cannot discover the characteristics of the ātman, we know that the ātman is absent in all dharmas. Since we know that there is no ātman in the dharmas, we cannot conceive the idea of ātman. Since there is no ātman, there cannot be an idea of ātmiya, ‘the idea of things belonging to the ātman’. When the ātman and the ātmiya have disappeared, there is no longer any bondage, and when there is no longer any bondage, that is Nirvāṇa. This is why the Yogin should cultivate the concept of non-self (anātmasaṃjñā).

Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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