Friday, November 22, 2013

Dependence Arising Has No Essence (緣起性空)

It is not very difficult to understand the concept of ‘emptiness’ in Buddhism. The word ‘emptiness’ doesn’t mean that everything is entirely ‘empty’ functionally and in characteristic. The gist of it only refers to the existence of an object, such as a stone; does not exist because of you and me. The stone will always be there with or without you and me.


In another words, if someone pick up the stone and hit me on the head; my head bleeds. This shows that the stone is not empty as it is harder than my skull; hence its function is not empty.


Now, let’s bring in the concept of ‘dependence arising’ (緣起).


Basically ‘dependence arising’ has no essence (緣起性空無自性) means ‘emptiness’ (空性). This ‘emptiness’ refers to the happening of an incident has no specific characteristics, hence it is essentially ‘empty’.


Let me elaborate further with an example of the above stone:


The reason that you and I have the opportunity to come across the specific stone means this relationship was built in some previous years or lifetime. Without this relationship; we would not even notice the stone amongst other pebbles on the roadside.


Likewise, it is not by chances that you drop in this blog; the relationship was established in the past lives where we have probably established as friends or foe. This connection will only exist as long as the past relationship endures. After the attraction is over, we will part and never to meet nor talk again.


Understand the concept of ‘emptiness’ is essential in spirit deliverance ritual (超度) or not only the spirit that is intended to be delivered will not depart; it will hang on to the master himself.


It is also precisely this concept of ‘emptiness’ that draws a thin line between Buddhist Tantric practices with Hindu Tantric practices. Both of them has the same name; quite differ in gist. As the saying goes:



(A millimeter’s difference in the beginning, but ended with a kilometer’s error.)

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