Svabhavashunyata, Svabhāvaśūnyatā, Svabhava-shunyata: 2 definitions


Svabhavashunyata 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 Svabhāvaśūnyatā can be transliterated into English as Svabhavasunyata or Svabhavashunyata, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

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

Svabhāvaśūnyatā (स्वभावशून्यता) or simply Svabhāva refers to the “emptiness of existence itself”, representing one of the emptinesses (śūnyatā), according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter XLVIII.

(1) Dharmas arising from a complex of causes and conditions, they have no self existence (svabhāva). As existence itself does not exist, [the Prajñāpāramitāsūtra] speaks here of ‘emptiness of existence itself’ (svabhāvaśūnyatā).

(2) The emptiness of past (atīta) and future (anāgata) dharmas is called emptiness of non-existence (abhāvaśūnyatā, no. 16); the emptiness of present dharmas is called emptiness of existence itself (svabhābaśūnyatā, no. 17). Why? The disappearance (vyaya) and change (anyathātva) of past (atīta) dharmas leads to non-existence (abhāva); future (anāgata) dharmas, the causes and conditions for which have not come together, are without arising, without existence, without exit and without production; this is why they are ‘non-existence’ (abhāva).—As for present (pratyutpanna) dharmas and unconditioned dharmas (asaṃskṛta), by the very fact that they presently exist, they are called ‘existence itself’ (svabhāva).

(3) Conditioned dharmas, having production, duration and disappearance, are called ‘existence itself’ (svabhāva).

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 svabhavashunyata or svabhavasunyata in the context of Mahayana from relevant books on Exotic India

General definition (in Buddhism)

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

Svabhāvaśūnyatā (स्वभावशून्यता) or simply svabhāva refers to “emptiness of self-existence” 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., svabhāva-śūnyatā). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

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