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(Pinyin: línghún (soul, spirit))
Atman (Sanskrit; Pali: atta) refers to the concept of a permanently existing "self" or "soul" that was prevelant in the ancient Indian religious traditions at the time of the Buddha. The Buddha rejected the existence of a permanent self. The Buddha instead describes the self as a collection of continually changing components. This concept of "self" as something that is collection of constantly changing composite parts is called anatman.
Ātman and atta refer to a person's "true self", a person's permanent inner nature. Occasionally the terms "soul" or "ego" are used.
"Atman" in early Buddhism may simply refer to the sense of "I am", similar to the pre-Buddhist Upanishads, which link the feeling "I am" to a permanent "Self". Contrary to this, the Buddha argued that no permanent, unchanging "self" can be found. All conditioned phenomena are subject to change, and therefore can't be taken to be an unchanging "self". Instead, the Buddha explains the perceived continuity of the human personality by describing it as composed of five skandhas, without a permanent entity. This analysis makes it possible to avoid attachment, and is supportive for attaining liberation.
Of the early indian Buddhist schools, only the Pudgalavada-school diverged from this basic teaching. The Pudgalavādins asserted that, while there is no ātman, there is a pudgala or "person", which is neither the same as nor different from the skandhas.
Buddha-nature is a central notion of east-Asian (Chinese) Mahayana thought. It refers to several related terms,[note 1] most notably Tathāgatagarbha and Buddha-dhātu.[note 2] Tathāgatagarbha means "the womb of the thus-gone" (c.q. enlightened one), while Buddha-dhātu literally means "Buddha-realm" or "Buddha-substrate".[note 3] Several key texts refer to the tathāgatagarbha or Buddha-dhātu as "atman", self or essence, though those texts also contain warnings against a literal interpretation. Several scholars have noted similarities between tathāgatagarbha texts and the substantial monism found in the atman/Brahman tradition.
- Harvey 1995, p. 51.
- atman: definition, usage and pronunciation - YourDictionary.com
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- Kalupahana, David J. (1994), A history of Buddhist philosophy, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited
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- Hodge, Stephen (2009 & 2012). "The Textual Transmission of the Mahayana Mahaparinirvana-sutra", lecture at the University of Hamburg
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- "Nirvana Sutra": full text of "Nirvana Sutra", plus appreciation of its teachings.
- "Tathagatagarbha Buddhism": key sutras of the Tathagatagarbha Buddhist tradition
|This article uses material from the September 2014 revision of Ātman (Buddhism) on Wikipedia ( view authors). License under CC BY-SA 3.0.|