Prakritishunyata, aka: Prakṛtiśūnyatā, Prakriti-shunyata; 2 Definition(s)


Prakritishunyata 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 Prakṛtiśūnyatā can be transliterated into English as Prakrtisunyata or Prakritishunyata, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Prakritishunyata in Mahayana glossary... « previous · [P] · next »

Prakṛtiśūnyatā (प्रकृतिशून्यता) or simply Prakṛti refers to the “emptiness of essence”, representing one of the sixteen or eighteen emptinesses (śūnyatā), according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter XLVIII. Accordingly, “what is the emptiness of essence (prakṛtiśūnyatā)? The essence of all conditioned or non-conditioned dharmas is not created by the hearers, is not created by the Pratyekabuddhas, is not created by the Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas, is not created by the holy, completely and perfectly enlightened Buddhas. The essence is empty of essence because it is neither eternal nor transitory. Why? Because such is its essence. That is called: emptiness of essence (prakṛti-śūnyatā)”.

Emptiness of essences (prakṛtiśūnyatā).—The prakṛti of dharmas is eternally empty (śūnya) but, borrowing the karmic series (karmaprabandha), it seems not to be empty. Thus the prakṛti of water (udaka) by itself is cold (śīta); if one brings it close to fire (agni), it becomes hot (uṣṇa); if one puts out the fire, it becomes cold again. It is the same with the prakṛti of dharmas: a long as the karmic conditions are not present, it is empty (śūnya), non-existent (anupalabdha), like the prakṛti of water, eternally cold; when the conditions come together, the dharmas exist like the water that becomes hot near the fire; if the conditions become rare or disappear, there are no more dharmas, like the boiling water that becomes cold again when the fire is extinguished.

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
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 prakritishunyata or prakrtisunyata in the context of Mahayana from relevant books on Exotic India

General definition (in Buddhism)

Prakritishunyata in Buddhism glossary... « previous · [P] · next »

Prakṛtiśūnyatā (प्रकृतिशून्यता) or simply prakṛti refers to “natural 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., prakṛti-śūnyatā). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

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