Sentence Pronunciation Sentence Structure Declension & Conjugation
Translation Vocabulary Commentary


iha wariputra sarva-dharmah wunyata-laksanah
  |           |               |               |                 |                |
adv.    N.m.         adj.          N.m.          N.f.           N.m.
  |          |           | 
  |______|               |________|                  |_________|
       |                             |___________________|


sarva-, adj.: all, every,

dharma-, m.: here means "phenomenon",

laksana-, m.: characteristic, character, mark,


Here, Sariputra, all the phenomena have the emptiness as the characteristic.

Sentence pronunciation


    Very important change occurs in this sentence. Whereas until now Avalokitewvara talked about skandhas as being empty, now suddenly he starts to comprise into this emptiness all the dharmas - constituent elements or properties.
    Older schools of Buddhism (especially Sarvastivada) developed the teaching about dharmas into every detail. There are two main groups of dharmas: unconditioned (here belongs the Space and two kinds of Nirvana) and conditioned (where belongs everything else). Conditioned dharmas are again subdivided into Form (11 dharmas), Thought (1 dharma), Mentals (46 dharmas) and Various (14 dharmas). Thus altogether there are 72 dharmas.
    Now we learn, that all these qualities which were supposed to be real, are in truth empty - they are characterized by emptiness. It means that even the Nirvana is seen as emptiness - something until now unheard of! Basically, the difference between conditioned and unconditioned dharmas is altogether eradicated here - for why make a difference if they are both "characterized by emptiness"!?

Go back