anatta

anatta

[uhn-uht-tah]
noun Buddhism.
the doctrine asserting the nonexistence of a personal and immortal soul. Sanskrit, anatman.


Origin:
< Pali: literally, breathless

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anatta

in Buddhism, the doctrine that there is in humans no permanent, underlying substance that can be called the soul. Instead, the individual is compounded of five factors (Pali khandha; Sanskrit skandha) that are constantly changing. The concept of anatta, or anatman, is a departure from the Hindu belief in atman ("the self"). The absence of a self, anicca (the impermanence of all being), and dukkha ("suffering") are the three characteristics of all existence (ti-lakkhana). Recognition of these three doctrines-anatta, anicca, and dukkha-constitutes "right understanding."

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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