Encyclopedia of Sciences and Religions

2013 Edition
| Editors: Anne L. C. Runehov, Lluis Oviedo

Impermanence (Buddhist)

  • Bhikkhu Anālayo
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8265-8_1618

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Description

Realizing the impermanent nature of all aspects of subjective experience, including the whole world at large, is a key aspect in the development of insight into the true nature of reality according to early Buddhist thought. The argument advanced to support the idea that impermanence does indeed reflect the true nature of reality and experience is that on close investigation all aspects of experience turn out to be subject to change and alteration. This empirical approach, together with the conclusions drawn from it, places this aspect of Buddhist thought in considerable vicinity to science and scientific methodology.

From an early Buddhist perspective, whatever exists turns out on close inspection to be but a changing process, whether this be the whole world, which according to ancient Indian cosmology undergoes periodical destruction, or the fleeting mind, which introspection shows to be changing every moment. Thus, early...

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References

Primary Sources

  1. Carpenter, J. E., & Rhys Davids, T. W. (Eds.). (1890–1911). The Dīgha Nikāya (3 vols). London/Oxford: Pali Text Society.Google Scholar
  2. Feer, L. (Ed.). (1884–1898). The Saṃyutta Nikāya (5 vols). London/Oxford: Pali Text Society.Google Scholar
  3. Morris, R., & Hardy, E. (Eds.). (1885–1900). The Aṅguttara Nikāya (5 vols). London/Oxford: Pali Text Society.Google Scholar

Secondary Sources

  1. Karunadasa, Y. (2010). The Theravāda Abhidhamma. Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong.Google Scholar
  2. von Rospatt, A. (1995). The Buddhist doctrine of momentariness: A survey of the origins and early phase of this doctrine up to Vasubandhu. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bhikkhu Anālayo
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Buddhist StudiesUniversity of HamburgHamburgGermany