The Buddha: His life and Teachings
Short-term Paper Mahayana, meaning “Great Vehicle”, is considered itself as a more authentic version of Buddha’s teachings. Mahayana Buddhism is essentially a vision of what Buddhism is really about and contains a vast corpus of philosophical and devotional texts and Buddha’s teachings. One of the most distinctive themes in the Mahayana Buddhism is Emptiness of mind. According to the Mahayana teaching of Emptiness, sunyata, refers void or openness, symbolizing that all beings and phenomena have no intrinsic existence in themselves. From Mahayana teachings, Emptiness is the understanding that the things of the phenomenal world do not exist as separate, independent and permanent entities, but rather appear as the result of an infinite number of causes and conditions, are a product of dependent origination. From the Mahayana Buddhism, Sunyata refers to the fact that everything is dependently originated, including the causes and conditions. “All phenomena are dependent for their existence on complex networks of causes and conditions” (pg.26). For example, suppose there is a book. A Book is dependent on the printing press that printed it, and dependent for its existence on the papers and ink that constitute the book. Printing press, ink and papers are dependent to each other to create the book itself. There is no inherent book essence inhabiting the ink and papers. The material is not the book, the shape is not the book, and the function is not the book. All these combined features make up the book. In addition, Emptiness means no permanent and unchangeable existence. “All phenomena are empty of essence, but exist impermanent” (pg.26). For instance, the human body is changing every second like any phenomenon. It does not have permanent and unchangeable existence. Body can be the emptiness. From the Buddhism teachings, this is the truth of nature which is a continuous process. Beings and phenomena arise and perpetually cease for other new beings and phenomena. Rising and falling are the common characteristics of worldly existence. All phenomena are always in the cycle of rising and falling. Thus the truth of sunyata is the nature of each individual existence. Each step in understanding that each minor form has a nature that is not described by words is steps to the realization of sunyata.
According to Buddhist teachings, when people realize that we ourselves are empty, freedom from suffering accomplished. The fourth noble path is closely related to sunyata. In fourth noble path, the third one is “the cessation of suffering is attainable.” From this path, it states that the state of Nirvana means freedom from all worries, troubles, complexes, fabrications and ideas. The state of Nirvana can be reached when the emptiness is