In this way, he argued that emptiness does not represent a thing since it is not something one can point at and identify neither can one grasp it with the hand. The idea of emptiness means that things lack the element of natural being or in other words they have no soul or natural being. Nagarjuna argued that there is nothing in the world that possesses a soul or essence which means that they have no permanent unique base (Olson 167). This shows that if things do not have a natural existence or essence, it means they are not independent. Emptiness in this respect clarifies that things are fundamentally relative and therefore, cannot exist on their own. This philosophy of Nagarjuna goes against original Buddhist philosophies that identified the soul as an intrinsic being that can exist on it own even after death. Nagarjuna additionally, states that emptiness is not superior and does not judge other views because in itself it is empty. For instance, Nagarjuna touches on the issue of existence or non-existence and concludes that human beings overlay a personality on things that are not there. He says that the ideas of existence and non-existence are only formed in the minds of human beings which mean that emptiness destroys ignorance, gullible and blind concepts. In this way, the Four Noble Truths like knowledge and truth exist in the mind and are able to eliminate the issue of ignorance (Olson 168). It is clear from Nagarjuna viewpoint that emptiness is meant to destroy the erroneous human perception to ensure that people see things and experiences as they truly should be. He adds that emptiness is not a self-proven reality that is meant to object the issue of non-emptiness. He cites that human should therefore, not get attached to the constituent of emptiness in itself, because it is not something substantial that people need to cling onto. In Nagarjuna’s ideas, human beings should detach themselves from mental and emotional inventions since they lead people to transcend their personhood. In this respect, humans are required to free themselves from any ideas or events which include the concept of emptiness. The natural nature of emptiness is emptiness which leads to the ultimate truth instead of the ultimate truth by itself (Olson 168). Nagarjuna believes that emptiness is not a concept that can be proven or defended because it is not a position at all. The concept of emptiness means that all questions end since there is no position to defend. The question of nivarna (spirit or heaven) arises and does it mean that it does not exist? In Nagarjuna explanation, there is no suggestion or intention that is legitimate in absolute sense. It is a philosophy where Nagarjuna ensures that humans understand that they need to eliminate mental and emotional attachment to extraordinary concepts and take up simple insight to the nature of things. In this respect, it is possible to understand nivarna from Nigarjuna philosophy since he says that all extraordinary things are empty which shows that nivarna is also empty. This conclusion clarifies that nivarna is devoid of any forms of unfairness, particularities and even of definitions (Olson 169). In addition, nivarna is devoid of all sorts of representations and verbal differentiations which mean it is not independent. It is clear that Nagarjuna says that nivarna and the idea of
Name: Course: Tutor: Date: Nagarjuna Concept of Emptiness Introduction Nagarjuna is remembered as a great Buddhist philosopher especially by his writings on the philosophy based on the teachings of the Middle Way. One of the main ideas in the philosophy of the Middle Way touches on the concept of Emptiness (or Sunyata in Buhhism) which has great insights to the reader…
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What does “emptiness” mean in Mahayana Buddhism?
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