anātman

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Glossaryanātman

Sanskrit Noun

anātman

selflessness
अनात्मन्
བདག་མེད་པ་
无我

Basic Meaning

The nonexistence of the self as a permanent, unchanging entity.

Has the Sense of

A key feature of the Buddha's teachings that stood in direct contrast to the mainstream Indian religious-philosophical notion of an eternal self, or ātman.

On this topic
Term Variations
Key Term anātman
Topic Variation anātman
Tibetan བདག་མེད་པ་  ( dakmépa)
Wylie Tibetan Transliteration bdag med pa  ( dakmépa)
Devanagari Sanskrit अनात्मन्
Chinese 无我
Chinese Pinyin wúwǒ
Japanese Transliteration muga
Korean Transliteration mua
Buddha-nature Site Standard English selflessness
Karl Brunnhölzl's English Term identitylessness
Richard Barron's English Term nonexistence of identity, lack/absence of identity
Jeffrey Hopkin's English Term selflessness
Ives Waldo's English Term egoless[ness]
Alternate Spellings nairātmya
Term Information
Source Language Sanskrit
Basic Meaning The nonexistence of the self as a permanent, unchanging entity.
Has the Sense of A key feature of the Buddha's teachings that stood in direct contrast to the mainstream Indian religious-philosophical notion of an eternal self, or ātman.
Did you know? The teaching that there is no personal self was a crucial precursor to the Buddhist concept of emptiness.
Related Terms Ātman, Svabhāva, Śūnyatā
Term Type Noun
Definitions
Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism See page 42: In Sanskrit, “no self” or “nonself” or more broadly “insubstantiality”; the third of the “three marks” (trilakṣaṇa) of existence, along with impermanence (anitya) and suffering (duḥkha). The concept is one of the key insights of the Buddha, and it is foundational to the Buddhist analysis of the compounded quality (samskrta) of existence: since all compounded things are the fruition (phala) of a specific set of causes (hetu) and conditions (pratyaya), they are therefore absent of any perduring substratum of being.
Rangjung Yeshe Dictionary Nonexistence of the self of the individual personality and/ or self-nature of phenomena.