Paramarthashunyata, Paramārthaśūnyatā, Paramartha-shunyata: 2 definitions


Paramarthashunyata 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 Paramārthaśūnyatā can be transliterated into English as Paramarthasunyata or Paramarthashunyata, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

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

Paramārthaśūnyatā (परमार्थशून्यता) or simply Paramārtha refers to the “emptiness of the absolute”, representing one of the sixteen or eighteen emptinesses (śūnyatā), according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter XLVIII. Accordingly, “what is the emptiness of the absolute (paramārthaśūnyatā)? Here the absolute is nirvāṇa, and this nirvāṇa is empty of nirvāṇa because it is neither eternal nor transitory. Why? Because such is its essence. That is called: emptiness of the absolute (paramārtha-śūnyatā)”.

Emptiness of the absolute (paramārthaśūnyatā).—The absolute (paramārtha) is the true nature of dharmas because it is indestructible and inalterable. This true nature of dharmas itself is empty (śūnya). Why? Because there is no grasping (upādāna) or attachment (abhiniveśa) in regard to it. If the true nature of dharmas existed, one would be able to take it and become attached to it, but as it does not really exist, one does not take it and one does not become attached to it. If one does take it and becomes attached to it, that is a mistake.

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 paramarthashunyata or paramarthasunyata in the context of Mahayana from relevant books on Exotic India

General definition (in Buddhism)

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

Paramārthaśūnyatā (परमार्थशून्यता) or simply paramārtha refers to “ultimate 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., paramārtha-śūnyatā). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

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