Empty vs. emptiness

In early Buddhism, as I understand, ’empty’, as an adjective, was used much more frequently than ‘emptiness‘, as a noun, and usually was used as a negation. For example, “Insofar as it is empty of a self or of anything pertaining to a self: Thus it is said, Ānanda, that the world is empty” (SN 35.85). However, later Mahayana, Vajrayana, Zen, etc. authors began using emptiness as a noun and as an affirmation, equating it with a monistic Buddha-nature essence (Sanskrit: tathāgatagarbha). This is one of the most fundamental differences, and conflicts, I have seen between earlier and later Buddhism.

One thought on “Empty vs. emptiness

  1. Pingback: monk in private

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.