Monday, January 02, 2006

Simple Words - BDAG

Next word you see used a lot, especially concerning combinational words, is bdag. It means self. Usually the Sanskrit term atman is translated as bdag. The opposite, no self is bdag med, or anatman.

This was the big debate between the Buddhist and non-Buddhist philosophical schools of ancient India. All Buddhist philosophical schools assert that there's no self-contained self entity, soul, or a similar core. Depending on the Buddhist school this is then further defined, up to the level of middle way, that asserts that nothing has self-existence, but everything is interdependent.

The non-Buddhist schools were worried about the isue of bdag med going to a point where bdag does not exist at all. This was not the point of the Buddhist schools, rather that bdag is a combinational factor of various elements, the so called five heaps, or phung po lnga, the five skandhas.

Anyway, other examples are:

bdag gi - mine, as in bdag gi yin - this is mine.
bdag nyid - atma, essence, nature, nyid is used a lot to specify 'just that'
bdag med lha mo - Nairathmya, the 'selflessness goddess'
bdag 'dzin - grasping to self

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