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A Study of the Buddhist Way of Thinking as Represented in the Vajracchedikā-sūtra




自性 般若波羅蜜 實相

Parallel abstracts

The Vajracchedikā-sūtra is famous for its elaboration of the profound moaning of emptiness in Buddhist circle. Althrough the term ”emptiness” or sūnyatā” does not appear in the text, its purpose of expticating this doctrine is undeniable. The present work is a study of two forms of negative expression representative in the text, in order to reveal the specific way of thinking of the sūtra and the Prajñāpāramita literature. They are the fourfold aspect negation and the immediate negation paradox. In the fourfold aspect negation, the subjects of the setf, humans in general, sentient beings and whatever that maintains a persistent existence, are simultaneously negated as being devoid of ”self nature.” Thereby the character of emptiness is revealed, whereas the immediate negation paradox seems a paradox at first glance, but actually it carries a dialectical thought process. In its second phase of antithesis, the ”self nature” usually ascribed to the entities or the phenomenal world is negated. The meaning of emptiness is revealed right in this negation of ”self nature.” ”Immediate negation” indicates the complete refutation of ”self nature” right here and now.