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Key Term śūnyatā
Topic Variation emptiness
Hover Popup Choices emptiness; śūnyatā; sunyata; tong pa nyi
In Tibetan Script སྟོང་པ་ཉིད་
Wylie Tibetan Transliteration stong pa nyid
Devanagari Sanskrit Script शून्यता
Romanized Sanskrit śūnyatā
Tibetan Phonetic Rendering tong pa nyi
Sanskrit Phonetic Rendering shunyata
Chinese Script 空; 空門
Chinese Pinyin kōng; kōng mén
Japanese Transliteration kū; kūmon
English Standard emptiness
Karl Brunnhölzl's English Term emptiness
Richard Barron's English Term emptiness
Jeffrey Hopkin's English Term emptiness
Gyurme Dorje's English Term emptiness
Ives Waldo's English Term emptiness
Term Type Noun
Source Language Sanskrit
Basic Meaning The state of being empty of an innate nature due to a lack of independently existing characteristics.
Has the Sense of Though emptiness is generally predicated on the dependent origination of relative phenomena, it is a dialectic method of explaining the ultimate truth through a negative assertion and thereby highlighting what true reality lacks, rather than making a positive assertion of what that reality actually is.
Related Terms rangtong;zhentong
Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism See page 871: In Sanskrit, “emptiness”; the term has a number of denotations, but is most commonly associated with the perfection of wisdom (prajñāpāramitā) sūtras and the Madhyamaka school of Mahāyāna philosophy.
Tshig mdzod Chen mo rang bzhin med pa'i gnas lugs sam de kho na nyid
sutra/śastra quote:

Form is emptiness; emptiness is form.

Emptiness is not other than form; form is not other than emptiness.
sutra/śastra quote source: Heart Sūtra
Usage Example


rūpaṃ śūnyatā śūnyataiva rūpaṃ
rūpān na pṛthak śūnyatā śunyatāyā na pṛthag rūpaṃ


གཟུགས་སྟོང་པའོ། སྟོང་པ་ཉིད་གཟུགས་སོ།
གཟུགས་ལས་སྟོང་པ་ཉིད་གཞན་མ་ཡིན། སྟོང་པ་ཉིད་ལས་ཀྱང་གཟུགས་གཞན་མ་ཡིན་ནོ།།