Bahirdhashunyata, Bahirdhāśūnyatā, Bahirdha-shunyata: 2 definitions


Bahirdhashunyata 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.

The Sanskrit term Bahirdhāśūnyatā can be transliterated into English as Bahirdhasunyata or Bahirdhashunyata, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous (B) next»] — Bahirdhashunyata in Mahayana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Bahirdhāśūnyatā (बहिर्धाशून्यता) or simply Bahirdhā refers to the “emptiness of external dharmas”, representing one of the sixteen or eighteen emptinesses (śūnyatā), according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter XLVIII. Accordingly, “what is the emptiness of external dharmas (bahirdhāśūnyatā)? External dharmas are color, sound, smell, taste, tangible and dharmas. And yet color is empty of color because it is neither eternal nor transitory. Why? Because such is its essence. Likewise, sound, smell, taste, tangible and dharma. Why? Because such is its essence. That is called: emptiness of external dharmas (bahirdhā-śūnyatā)”.

Outer emptiness (bahirdhāśūnyatā).—Outer dharmas (bahirdhādharma) are empty of outer dharmas. The outer dharmas are the six external bases of consciousness (ṣaḍ-bahirdhāyatana): color (rūpa), sound (śabda), smell (gandha), taste (rasa), tangible (spraṣṭavya) and dharma. Color is empty: in it there is no ‘me’ or ‘mine’, and there is no dharma ‘color’. It is the same for sound, smell, taste, tangible and dharma.

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.

Discover the meaning of bahirdhashunyata or bahirdhasunyata in the context of Mahayana from relevant books on Exotic India

General definition (in Buddhism)

[«previous (B) next»] — Bahirdhashunyata in Buddhism glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

Bahirdhāśūnyatā (बहिर्धाशून्यता) or simply bahirdhā refers to “external emptiness” one of the “twenty emptinesses” (śūnyatā) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 41). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., bahirdhā-śūnyatā). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

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