Saṃsāra (Buddhism)

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A thangka showing the bhavacakra with the ancient five cyclic realms of saṃsāra in Buddhist cosmology. Medieval and contemporary texts typically describe six realms of reincarnation.
Translations of
Englishcycle of existence, endless rebirth, wheel of dharma, beginningless time
Sanskritsaṃsāra, sangsara (Dev: संसार)
Palisaṃsāra (Dev: संसार)
Bengaliসংসার (sôngsarô)
(MLCTS: θàɰ̃ðajà)
Chinese生死, 輪迴, 流轉
(Pinyin: shēngsǐ, lúnhuí, liúzhuǎn)
(Rōmaji: rinne)
Khmerសង្សារ, វដ្ដសង្សារ
(UNGEGN: sângsar, vôddâsângsar)
Korean윤회, 생사유전 Yunhoi, Saengsayujeon
Mongolianᠣᠷᠴᠢᠯᠠᠩ, орчлон (orchilang, orchlon)
Sinhalaසංසාරය (sansāra)
(khor ba)
VietnameseLuân hồi, Lục đạo
Glossary of Buddhism

Saṃsāra (Sanskrit: संसार, Pali: saṃsāra; also samsara) in Buddhism and Hinduism is the beginningless cycle of repeated birth, mundane existence and dying again.[1] Samsara is considered to be dukkha, suffering, and in general unsatisfactory and painful,[2] perpetuated by desire and avidya (ignorance), and the resulting karma.[3][4][5]

Rebirths occur in six realms of existence, namely three good realms (heavenly, demi-god, human) and three evil realms (animal, ghosts, hellish).[note 1] Samsara ends if a person attains nirvana,[note 2] the "blowing out" of the desires and the gaining of true insight into impermanence and non-self reality.[7][8][9]


In Buddhism, saṃsāra is the "suffering-laden, continuous cycle of life, death, and rebirth, without beginning or end".[2][10] In several suttas of the Samyutta Nikaya's chapter XV in particular it's said "From an inconstruable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on".[11] It is the never-ending repetitive cycle of birth and death, in six realms of reality (gati, domains of existence),[12] wandering from one life to another life with no particular direction or purpose.[13][14][note 3] Samsara is characterized by dukkha ("unsatisfactory," "painful").[note 4]Samsara relates to the Four Noble Truths in Buddhism, as dukkha ("unsatisfactory," "painful") is the essence of Samsara.[17][18] Every rebirth is temporary and impermanent. In each rebirth one is born and dies, to be reborn elsewhere in accordance with one's own karma.[19] It is perpetuated by one's avidya ("ignorance"), particularly about anicca (“impermanence”) and anatta, (“no-self”)[20][21] and from craving.[note 5] Samsara continues until moksha is attained by means of insight and nirvana,[15][note 2] the "blowing out" of the desires and the gaining of true insight into impermanence and non-self reality.[7][8][9] Samsara and the notion of cyclic existence dates back to 800 BCE.[25]


The Saṃsāra doctrine of Buddhism asserts that while beings undergo endless cycles of rebirth, there is no changeless soul that transmigrates from one lifetime to another - a view that distinguishes its Saṃsāra doctrine from that in Hinduism and Jainism.[26][27] This no-soul (no-self) doctrine is called the Anatta or Anatman in Buddhist texts.[28][29]

The early Buddhist texts suggest that Buddha faced a difficulty in explaining what is reborn and how rebirth occurs, after he innovated the concept that there is "no self" (Anatta).[30] Later Buddhist scholars, such as the mid-1st millennium CE Pali scholar Buddhaghosa, suggested that the lack of a self or soul does not mean lack of continuity; and the rebirth across different realms of birth – such as heavenly, human, animal, hellish and others – occurs in the same way that a flame is transferred from one candle to another.[31][32] Buddhaghosa attempted to explain rebirth mechanism with "rebirth-linking consciousness" (patisandhi).[33][34]

The mechanistic details of the Samsara doctrine vary within the Buddhist traditions. Theravada Buddhists assert that rebirth is immediate while the Tibetan schools hold to the notion of a bardo (intermediate state) that can last at least forty-nine days before the being is reborn.[35][36][37] In Mahayana Buddhist philosophy Samsara and Nirvana are seen as the same. According to Nagarjuna, an ancient Indian philosopher, and a teacher of Mahayana Buddhism, "Nothing of Samsara is different from Nirvana, nothing of Nirvana is different from Samsara. That which is the limit of Nirvana is also the limit of Samsara, there is not the slightest difference between the two."[38]

Realms of rebirth[edit]

Buddhist cosmology typically identifies six realms of rebirth and existence: gods, demi-gods, humans, animals, hungry ghosts and hells.[39] Earlier Buddhist texts refer to five realms rather than six realms; when described as five realms, the god realm and demi-god realm constitute a single realm.[6]

The six realms are typically divided into three higher realms (good, fortunate) and three lower realms (evil, unfortunate).[40][41] The three higher realms are the realms of the gods, humans and demi-gods; the three lower realms are the realms of the animals, hungry ghosts and hell beings.[42][43] The six realms are organized into thirty one levels in east Asian literature.[44] Buddhist texts describe these realms as follows:[42][43]

There are six Enlightened Buddhas that exist in each of the six realms. These six Buddhas have also been known as the "Six Sages." Their names are Indrasakra (Buddha in the god realm), Vemacitra (Buddha of the petty god realm), Sakyamuni (Buddha in the human realm); Sthirasimha (Buddha in the animal realm), Jvalamukha (Buddha in the hungry ghost realm), and Yama Dharmaraja (Buddha in the hot hell realm).[45]

  • Gods realm:[46] the gods (devas)[47] is the most pleasure-filled among the six realms, and typically subdivided into six sub-realms (Catummaharajika, Tavatimsa, Yama, Tusita, Nimmaranati, Paranimmarati Vasavatti).[48] A rebirth in this heavenly realm is believed to be from very good karma accumulation.[46] A Deva does not need to work, and is able to enjoy in the heavenly realm all pleasures found on earth. However, the pleasures of this realm lead to attachment (Upādāna), lack of spiritual pursuits and therefore no nirvana.[49] The vast majority of Buddhist lay people, states Kevin Trainor, have historically pursued Buddhist rituals and practices motivated with rebirth into Deva realm.[46][note 6] The Deva realm in Buddhist practice in southeast and east Asia, states Keown, include gods found in Hindu traditions such as Indra and Brahma, and concepts in Hindu cosmology such as Mount Meru.[52]
  • Human realm:[46] called the manuṣya realm.[47] Buddhism asserts that one is reborn in this realm with vastly different physical endowments and moral natures because of a being's past karma.[citation needed] A rebirth in this realm is considered as fortunate because it offers an opportunity to attain nirvana and end the Saṃsāra cycle.[46][53]
  • Demi-god realm (Asura):[46] the demi-gods (asuras)[47] is the third realm of existence in Buddhism. Asura are notable for their anger and some supernatural powers. They fight with the Devas (gods), or trouble the Manusya (humans) through illnesses and natural disasters.[46] They accumulate karma, and are reborn. Demi-god is sometimes ranked as one of the evil realms as there are stories of them fighting against the Gods.
  • Animal realm:[54] is the state of existence of a being as an animal (tiryag).[47] This realm is traditionally thought to be similar to a hellish realm, because animals are believed in Buddhist texts to be driven by impulse and instinct, they prey on each other and suffer.[55] Some Buddhist texts assert that plants belong to this realm, with primitive consciousness.[54]
Hungry Ghosts realm of Buddhist samsara, a 12th-century painting from Kyoto, Japan
  • Hungry ghost realm:[46] hungry ghosts and other restless spirits (preta)[47] are rebirths caused by karma of excessive craving and attachments. They do not have a body, are invisible and constitute only "subtle matter" of a being. Buddhist texts describe them as beings who are extremely thirsty and hungry, with very small mouths but very large stomachs.[55] Buddhist traditions in Asia attempt to care for them on ritual-days every year, by leaving food and drinks in the open, to feed any hungry ghosts nearby.[46] When their bad karma demerit runs out, these beings are reborn into another realm. According to McClelland, this realm is the mildest of the three evil realms.[56] According to Yangsi Rinpoche, in contrast, the suffering of the beings born in the realm of the hungry ghosts is far more intense than those born in the animal realm.[57]
  • Hell realm:[54] beings in hell (naraka)[47] enter this realm for evil karma such as theft, lying, adultery and others. The texts vary in their details, but typically describe numerous hellish regions each with different forms of intense suffering, such as eight extremely hot hellish realms, eight extremely cold, being partially eaten alive, beating and other forms of torture in proportion to the evil karma accumulated.[46] These beings are reborn in another realm after their evil karma has run its course, they die, and they get another chance.[55] This realm is not similar to afterlife hell in Christianity, states Damien Keown, because in Buddhism there is no realm of final damnation and existence in this realm is also a temporary state.[55]

Cause and end[edit]

Samsara is perpetuated by one's karma, which is caused by craving and ignorance (avidya).[20][21][note 5]


Samsara is perpetuated by karma.[note 7] Karma or 'action' results from an intentional physical or mental act, which causes a future consequence.[note 8] Gethin explains:

Thus acts of body and speech are driven by an underlying intention or will (cetanā), and they are unwholesome or wholesome because they are motivated by unwholesome or wholesome intentions. Acts of body and speech are, then, the end products of particular kinds of mentality. At the same time karma can exist as a simple 'act of will', a forceful mental intention or volition that does not lead to an act of body or speech.[62]

In the Buddhist view, therefore, the type of birth one has in this life is determined by actions or karma from the previous lives; and the circumstances of the future rebirth are determined by the actions in the current and previous lives.[note 9]

Craving and ignorance[edit]

Inconsistencies in the oldest texts show that the Buddhist teachings on craving and ignorance, and the means to attain liberation, evolved, either during the lifetime of the Buddha, or thereafter.[63] According to Frauwallner, the Buddhist texts show a shift in the explanation of the root cause of samsara.[64] Originally craving was considered to be the root cause of samsara,[note 10] which could be stilled by the practice of dhyana, leading to a calm of mind which according to Vetter is the liberation which is being sought.[68][69]

The later Buddhist tradition considers ignorance (avidya) to be the root cause of samsara.[65][20][21] Avidya is misconception and ignorance about reality, leading to grasping and clinging, and repeated rebirth.[70][71] According to Paul Williams, "it is the not-knowingness of things as they truly are, or of oneself as one really is."[72] It can be overcome by insight into the true nature of reality. In the later Buddhist tradition "liberating insight" came to be regarded as equally liberating as the practice of dhyana.[73][69] According to Vetter and Bronkhorst, this happened in response to other religious groups in India, who held that a liberating insight was an indispensable requisite for moksha, liberation from rebirth.[74][75][note 11]

The ideas on what exactly constituted this "liberating insight" evolved over time.[68][77] Initially the term prajna served to denote this "liberating insight." Later on, prajna was replaced in the suttas by the four truths.[78][79] This happened in those texts where "liberating insight" was preceded by the four jhanas, and where this practice of the four jhanas then culminates in "liberating insight."[80][note 12] The four truths were superseded by pratityasamutpada, and still later, in the Hinayana schools, by the doctrine of the non-existence of a substantial self or person.[83] And Schmithausen states that still other descriptions of this "liberating insight" exist in the Buddhist canon:

"that the five Skandhas are impermanent, disagreeable, and neither the Self nor belonging to oneself";[note 13] "the contemplation of the arising and disappearance (udayabbaya) of the five Skandhas";[note 14] "the realisation of the Skandhas as empty (rittaka), vain (tucchaka) and without any pith or substance (asaraka).[note 15][84]


Samsara ends when one attains moksha, liberation.[85][86][87][88] In early Buddhism, Nirvana, the "blowing out" of desire, is moksha. In later Buddhism insight becomes predominant, for example the recognition and acceptance of non-self, also called the anatta doctrine.[89] One who no longer sees any soul or self, concludes Walpola Rahula, is the one who has been liberated from the samsara suffering-cycles.[9][note 16] The theme that Nirvana is non-Self, states Peter Harvey, is recurring in early Buddhist texts.[91]

Some Buddhist texts suggest that rebirth occurs through the transfer of vinnana (consciousness) from one life to another. When this consciousness ceases, then liberation is attained.[92] There is a connection between consciousness, karmic activities, and the cycle of rebirth, argues William Waldron, and with the destruction of vinnana, there is "destruction and cessation of "karmic activities" (anabhisankhara, S III, 53), which are considered in Buddhism to be "necessary for the continued perpetuation of cyclic existence."[92]

While Buddhism considers the liberation from samsara as the ultimate spiritual goal, in traditional practice, Buddhists seek and accumulate merit through good deeds, donations to monks and various Buddhist rituals in order to gain better rebirths rather than nirvana.[93]

Impermanence and Non-Self Reality[edit]

A value of Buddhism is the idea of impermanence. All living things, causes, conditions, situations are impermanent.[94] Impermanence is the idea that all things disappear once they have originated. According to Buddhism, Impermanence occurs constantly "moment to moment",[95] and this is why there is no recognition of the self.[96] Since everything is considered to be in a state of decay, permanent happiness and self cannot exist in Samsara.[97]

Anatta is the Buddhist idea of non-self. Winston L. King, a writer from the University of Hawai'i Press, references two integral parts of Anatta in Philosophy East and West.[98] King details the first aspect, that Anatta can be "experienced and not just described."[99] King states the second aspect of Anatta is that it is the liberation from the "power of samsaric drives."[100] Obtaining awareness of Anatta and non-self reality results in a, "freedom from the push-pull of his own appetites, passions, ambitions, and fixations and from the external world's domination in general, that is, the conquest of greed, hatred, and delusion."[101] This "push-pull" of mundane human existence or samsara results in dukka, but the recognition of Anatta results in a "freedom from the push-pull."

Psychological interpretation[edit]

According to Chogyam Trungpa the realms of samsara can refer to both "psychological states of mind and physical cosmological realms".[note 17]

Gethin argues, rebirth in the different realms is determined by one's karma, which is directly determined by one's psychological states. The Buddhist cosmology may thus be seen as a map of different realms of existence and a description of all possible psychological experiences.[103] The psychological states of a person in current life lead to the nature of next rebirth in Buddhist cosmology.[104]

Paul Williams acknowledges Gethin's suggestion of the "principle of the equivalence of cosmology and psychology," but notes that Gethin is not asserting the Buddhist cosmology is really all about current or potential states of mind or psychology.[105] The realms in Buddhist cosmology are indeed realms of rebirths. Otherwise rebirth would always be into the human realm, or there would be no rebirth at all. And that is not traditional Buddhism, states Williams.[105]

David McMahan concludes that the attempts to construe ancient Buddhist cosmology in modern psychological terms is modernistic reconstruction, "detraditionalization and demythologization" of Buddhism, a sociological phenomenon that is seen in all religions.[106]

A pre-modern form of this interpretation can be seen in the views of Zhiyi, the founder of the Tiantai school in China. The Record of Linji, a text attributed to the 9th Century Chan teacher Linji Yixuan, also presents the view that the Three Realms originate with the mind.

Alternative translations[edit]

  • Conditioned existence (Daniel Goleman)
  • Cycle of clinging and taking birth in one desire after another (Phillip Moffitt)
  • Cycle of existence
  • Cyclic existence (Jeffry Hopkins)
  • Uncontrollably recurring rebirth (Alexander Berzin)
  • Wheel of suffering (Mingyur Rinpoche)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Earlier Buddhist texts refer to five realms rather than six realms; when described as five realms, the god realm and demi-god realm constitute a single realm.[6]
  2. ^ a b Ending samsara:
    • Kevin Trainor: "Buddhist doctrine holds that until they realize nirvana, beings are bound to undergo rebirth and redeath due to their having acted out of ignorance and desire, thereby producing the seeds of karma".[23]
    • Conze: "Nirvana is the raison d’être of Buddhism, and its ultimate justification."[24]
  3. ^ Samsara is the continual repetitive cycle of rebirth within the six realms of existence:
    • Damien Keown: "Although Buddhist doctrine holds that neither the beginning of the process of cyclic rebirth nor its end can ever be known with certainty, it is clear that the number of times a person may be reborn is almost infinite. This process of repeated rebirth is known as saṃsāra or 'endless wandering', a term suggesting continuous movement like the flow of a river. All living creatures are part of this cyclic movement and will continue to be reborn until they attain nirvana."[15]
    • Ajahn Sucitto: "This continued movement is [...] what is meant by samsāra, the wandering on. According to the Buddha, this process doesn't even stop with death—it's like the habit transfers almost genetically to a new consciousness and body."[14]
  4. ^ Samsara is characterized by dukkha:
    • Chogyam Trungpa: "Samsara arises out of ignorance and is characterized by suffering."[16]
    • Rupert Gethin: "This precisely is the nature of saṃsāra: wandering from life to life with no particular direction or purpose."[13]
  5. ^ a b Ignorance and craving:
    • John Bowker: "In Buddhism, samsāra is the cycle of continuing appearances through the domains of existence (gati), but with no Self (anātman, [ātman means the enduring, immortal self]) being reborn: there is only the continuity of consequence, governed by karma."[web 1]
    • Chogyam Trungpa states: "Cyclic existence [is] the continual repetitive cycle of birth, death, and bardo that arises from ordinary beings' grasping and fixating on a self and experiences. (...) Samsara arises out of ignorance and is characterized by suffering."[16] Chogyam Trungpa's description includes a reference to the bardo, or intermediate state, that is emphasized in the Tibetan tradition.
    • Huston Smith and Philip Novak state: "The Buddha taught that beings, confused as they are by ignorant desires and fears, are caught in a vicious cycle called samsara, freedom from which—nirvana—was the highest human end."[22]
  6. ^ Other scholars[50][51] note that better rebirth, not nirvana, has been the primary focus of a vast majority of lay Buddhists. This they attempt through merit accumulation and good karma.
  7. ^ The driving force behind rebirth in the six realms of samsara is karma:
    • Peter Harvey: "The movement of beings between rebirths is not a haphazard process but is ordered and governed by the law of karma, the principle that beings are reborn according to the nature and quality of their past actions; they are 'heir' to their actions (M.III.123)."[58]
    • Damien Keown: "In the cosmology [of the realms of existence], karma functions as the elevator that takes people from one floor of the building to another. Good deeds result in an upward movement and bad deeds in a downward one. Karma is not a system of rewards and punishments meted out by God but a kind of natural law akin to the law of gravity. Individuals are thus the sole authors of their good and bad fortune."[59]
    • Sogyal Rinpoche states: "The kind of birth we will have in the next life is determined, then, by the nature of our actions in this one. And it is important never to forget that the effect of our actions depends entirely upon the intention or motivation behind them, and not upon their scale."[60]
    • Rupert Gethin: "What determines in which realm a being is born? The short answer is karma (Pali kamma): a being’s intentional ‘actions’ of body, speech, and mind—whatever is done, said, or even just thought with definite intention or volition. In general, though with some qualification, rebirth in the lower realms is considered to be the result of relatively unwholesome (akuśala/akusala), or bad (pāpa) karma, while rebirth in the higher realms the result of relatively wholesome (kuśala/kusala), or good (puṇya/puñña) karma."[13]
    • Paul Williams: "short of attaining enlightenment, in each rebirth one is born and dies, to be reborn elsewhere in accordance with the completely impersonal causal nature of one's own karma; this endless cycle of birth, rebirth, and redeath is Saṃsāra."[19]
  8. ^ Aṅguttara Nikāya III.415: "It is "intention" that I call karma; having formed the intention, one performs acts (karma) by body, speech and mind.[61]
  9. ^ Padmasambhava: "If you want to know your past life, look into your present condition; if you want to know your future life, look at your present actions."[60]
  10. ^ Frauwallner (1953), as referenced by Vetter (1988),[65] Flores (2009),[66] and Williams, Tribe and Wynne (2012).[67]
  11. ^ Tillmann Vetter: "Very likely the cause was the growing influence of a non-Buddhist spiritual environment·which claimed that one can be released only by some truth or higher knowledge. In addition, the alternative (and perhaps sometimes competing) method of discriminating insight (fully established after the introduction of the four noble truths) seemed to conform so well to this claim."[76]

    According to Bronkhorst, this happened under influence of the "mainstream of meditation," that is, Vedic-Brahmanical oriented groups, which believed that the cessation of action could not be liberating, since action can never be fully stopped. Their solution was to postulate a fundamental difference between the inner soul or self and the body. The inner self is unchangeable, and unaffected by actions. By insight into this difference, one was liberated. To equal this emphasis on insight, Buddhists presented insight into their most essential teaching as equally liberating. What exactly was regarded as the central insight "varied along with what was considered most central to the teaching of the Buddha."[75]
  12. ^ In the Nikayas the four truths are given as the "liberating insight" which constituted the awakening, or "enlightenment" of the Buddha. When he understood these truths, he was "enlightened," and liberated, as reflected in Majjhima Nikaya 26:42: "his taints are destroyed by his seeing with wisdom."[81] Typically, the four truths refer here to the eightfold path as the means to gain liberation, while the attainment of insight in the four truths is portrayed as liberating in itself.[82]
  13. ^ Majjhima Nikaya 26
  14. ^ Anguttara Nikaya II.45 (PTS)
  15. ^ Samyutta Nikaya III.140-142 (PTS)
  16. ^ Phra Thepyanmongkol: "The designation that is Nibbana [Nirvana] is anatta (non-self)", states Buddha, in Parivara Vinayapitaka.[90]
  17. ^ Chogyam Trungpa states: "In the Buddhist system of the six realms, the three higher realms are the god realm, the jealous-god realm, and the human realm; the three lower realms are the animal realm, the hungry ghost realmm, and the hell realm. These realms can refer to psychological states or to aspects of Buddhist cosmology."[102]


  1. ^ Trainor 2004, p. 58, Quote: "Buddhism shares with Hinduism the doctrine of Samsara, whereby all beings pass through an unceasing cycle of birth, death and rebirth until they find a means of liberation from the cycle. However, Buddhism differs from Hinduism in rejecting the assertion that every human being possesses a changeless soul which constitutes his or her ultimate identity, and which transmigrates from one incarnation to the next..
  2. ^ a b Wilson 2010.
  3. ^ Juergensmeyer & Roof 2011, p. 271-272.
  4. ^ McClelland 2010, p. 172, 240.
  5. ^ Williams, Tribe & Wynne 2012, p. 18–19, chapter 1.
  6. ^ a b Buswell 2004, p. 711-712.
  7. ^ a b Buswell & Gimello 1992, p. 7–8, 83–84.
  8. ^ a b Choong 1999, p. 28–29, Quote: "Seeing (passati) the nature of things as impermanent leads to the removal of the view of self, and so to the realisation of nirvana.".
  9. ^ a b c Rahula 2014, p. 51-58.
  10. ^ Laumakis 2008, p. 97.
  11. ^ Archived 2017-03-30 at the Wayback Machine - SN 15.3 Assu-sutta
  12. ^ Bowker 1997.
  13. ^ a b c Gethin 1998, p. 119.
  14. ^ a b Ajahn Sucitto 2010, pp. 37–38.
  15. ^ a b Keown 2000, Kindle locations 702-706.
  16. ^ a b Chogyam Trungpa 2009, p. 137.
  17. ^ Keown, Damien (2003). Oxford Dictionary of Buddhism. Oxford University Press, Incorporated. p. 248. ISBN 9780198605607.
  18. ^ Keown, Damien (2003). Oxford Dictionary of Buddhism. Oxford University Press Incorporated. p. 248. ISBN 9780198605607. Although not mentioned by name, samsara is the situation that is characterized as suffering (*duhkha) in the first of the *Four Noble Truths (aryasatya).
  19. ^ a b Williams 2002, pp. 74–75.
  20. ^ a b c Keown 2004, pp. 81, 281.
  21. ^ a b c Fowler 1999, p. 39–42.
  22. ^ Smith & Novak 2009, Kindle Location 2574.
  23. ^ Trainor 2004, p. 62–63.
  24. ^ Conze 2013, p. 71.
  25. ^ Keown, Damien (2003). Oxford Dictionary of Buddhism. Oxford University Press, Incorporated. p. 248. ISBN 9780198605607. The word samsara does not appear in the *Vedas, but the notion of cyclic birth and death is an ancient one and dates to around 800 BCE.
  26. ^ Trainor 2004, p. 58, Quote: "Buddhism shares with Hinduism the doctrine of Samsara, whereby all beings pass through an unceasing cycle of birth, death and rebirth until they find a means of liberation from the cycle. However, Buddhism differs from Hinduism in rejecting the assertion that every human being possesses a changeless soul which constitutes his or her ultimate identity, and which transmigrates from one incarnation to the next..
  27. ^ Naomi Appleton (2014). Narrating Karma and Rebirth: Buddhist and Jain Multi-Life Stories. Cambridge University Press. pp. 76–89. ISBN 978-1-139-91640-0. Archived from the original on 2016-08-30. Retrieved 2016-09-25.
  28. ^ Anatta Buddhism Archived 2015-12-10 at the Wayback Machine, Encyclopædia Britannica (2013)
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    [b] Brian Morris (2006). Religion and Anthropology: A Critical Introduction. Cambridge University Press. p. 51. ISBN 978-0-521-85241-8. Archived from the original on 2021-04-14. Retrieved 2016-09-25., Quote: "(...) anatta is the doctrine of non-self, and is an extreme empiricist doctrine that holds that the notion of an unchanging permanent self is a fiction and has no reality. According to Buddhist doctrine, the individual person consists of five skandhas or heaps - the body, feelings, perceptions, impulses and consciousness. The belief in a self or soul, over these five skandhas, is illusory and the cause of suffering."
    [c] Richard Gombrich (2006). Theravada Buddhism. Routledge. p. 47. ISBN 978-1-134-90352-8. Archived from the original on 2019-08-16. Retrieved 2016-09-25., Quote: "(...) Buddha's teaching that beings have no soul, no abiding essence. This 'no-soul doctrine' (anatta-vada) he expounded in his second sermon."
  30. ^ David J. Kalupahana (1975). Causality: The Central Philosophy of Buddhism. University Press of Hawaii. pp. 115–119. ISBN 978-0-8248-0298-1.
  31. ^ David J. Kalupahana (1975). Causality: The Central Philosophy of Buddhism. University Press of Hawaii. p. 83. ISBN 978-0-8248-0298-1.
  32. ^ William H. Swatos; Peter Kivisto (1998). Encyclopedia of Religion and Society. Rowman Altamira. p. 66. ISBN 978-0-7619-8956-1. Archived from the original on 2016-08-30. Retrieved 2016-09-25.
  33. ^ Bruce Mathews (1986). Ronald Wesley Neufeldt (ed.). Karma and Rebirth: Post Classical Developments. State University of New York Press. pp. 123–126. ISBN 978-0-87395-990-2. Archived from the original on 2021-04-14. Retrieved 2016-09-25.
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  35. ^ Buswell & Lopez 2013, pp. 49–50, 708–709.
  36. ^ Macmillan Encyclopedia of Buddhism. Vol. 1, p. 377
  37. ^ The Connected Discourses of the Buddha. A Translation of the Samyutta Nikaya, Bhikkhu Bodhi, Translator. Wisdom Publications. Sutta 44.9
  38. ^ Loy, David (1983). "The difference between samsara and nirvana". Philosophy East and West. University of Hawai'i Press. p. 355.
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  63. ^ See:
    * Erich Frauwallner (1953), Geschichte der indischen Philosophie, Band Der Buddha und der Jina (pp. 147-272)
    * Andre Bareau (1963), Recherches sur la biographie du Buddha dans les Sutrapitaka et les Vinayapitaka anciens, Ecole Francaise d'Extreme-Orient
    * Schmithausen, On some Aspects of Descriptions or Theories of 'Liberating Insight' and 'Enlightenment' in Early Buddhism
    * K.R. Norman, Four Noble Truths
    * Tilman Vetter, The Ideas and Meditative Practices of Early Buddhism, by Tilmann Vetter
    * Gombrich 2006, chapter four
    * Bronkhorst 1993, chapter 7
    * Anderson 1999
  64. ^ Erich Frauwallner (1953), Geschichte der indischen Philosophie, Band Der Buddha und der Jina (pp. 147-272)
  65. ^ a b Vetter 1988, p. xxi.
  66. ^ Flores 2009, p. 63–65.
  67. ^ Williams, Tribe & Wynne 2012, p. 33-34.
  68. ^ a b Vetter 1988, p. xxi-xxxvii.
  69. ^ a b Bronkhorst 1993, p. 93-111.
  70. ^ Edelglass 2009, p. 3-4.
  71. ^ Laumakis 2008, p. 136.
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  73. ^ Gombrich 1997, p. 99-102.
  74. ^ Vetter 1988, p. xxxii, xxxiii.
  75. ^ a b Bronkhorst 1993, p. 54-55, 96, 99.
  76. ^ Vetter 1988, p. xxxiii.
  77. ^ Bronkhorst 1993, p. chapter 7.
  78. ^ Bronkhorst 1993, p. 99-100, 102-111.
  79. ^ Anderson 1999.
  80. ^ Bronkhorst 1993, p. 108.
  81. ^ Nanamoli 1995, p. 268.
  82. ^ Bronkhorst 1993.
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  84. ^ Bronkhorst 1993, p. 101.
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  92. ^ a b Waldron 2003, p. 22.
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  94. ^ Keown, Damien (2003). Oxford Dictionary of Buddhism. Oxford University Press, Incorporated. A fundamental tenet of *Buddhism is that all formations (*samskara)—things that come into being dependent on causes and conditions— are impermanent.
  95. ^ Keown, Damien (2003). Oxford Dictionary of Buddhism. Oxford University Press, Incorporated. p. 15. Impermanence refers to the arising, passing away, changing, and disappearance of things that have arisen, and according to the *Abhidharma is a process that takes place from moment to moment.
  96. ^ Keown, Damien (2003). Oxford Dictionary of Buddhism. Oxford University Press, Incorporated. p. 15. It is because of the impermanence of the five aggregates (*skandha) that Buddhism teaches there can be no eternal self or soul (see ANATMAN).
  97. ^ Keown, Damien (2003). Oxford Dictionary of Buddhism. Oxford University Press, Incorporated. p. 15. For the same reason it is thought that there can be no permanent happiness in *samsara, because situations constantly change and in time all things decay (see DUHKHA).
  98. ^ King, Winston (Summer 1983). "The Existential Nature of Buddhist Ultimates". Philosophy East and West. 33 (3): 263–271. doi:10.2307/1398828. JSTOR 1398828.
  99. ^ King, Winston (Summer 1983). "The Existential Nature of Buddhist Ultimates". Philosophy East and West. 33 (3): 266. doi:10.2307/1398828. JSTOR 1398828. One is that anatta can be experienced, not just described. Indeed all vipassana meditational techniques have as their purpose the production of a visceral, fully existential awareness of one's own body-mind "self" as a set of temporarily associated factors which have no integral unity.
  100. ^ King, Winston (Summer 1983). "The Existential Nature of Buddhist Ultimates". Philosophy East and West. 33 (3): 266. doi:10.2307/1398828. JSTOR 1398828. The second point about anatta is that this experience is also one of release, release from the power of samsaric drives into a new and different self-aware
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  102. ^ Chogyam Trungpa 2009, p. 127.
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  106. ^ David L. McMahan (2008). The Making of Buddhist Modernism. Oxford University Press. pp. 45–48, 57–58. ISBN 978-0-19-972029-3. Archived from the original on 2016-12-31. Retrieved 2016-09-25., Quote: "Clearly, the interaction of Buddhism with psychology exhibits aspects of both detraditionalization and demythologization as already described. In addition, the legitimacy that is granted Buddhism in its reconstrual as a kind of psychology reverberates back to the very conception of Buddhism among Buddhists themselves, (...)"

Web references[edit]

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