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(Skt.; Pāli, sassatavāda). Eternalism, one of the two ‘extreme views’ condemned by the Buddha.the other being Annihilationism (uccheda-vāda). Eternalism postulates the existence of a self (ātman) that is eternal and unchanging, while the latter postulates the existence of a self that is cut off and utterly destroyed at death. According to the Buddha, both of these two extremes misrepresent the reality of the situation and the truth of the matter is to be found by reference to the principle of the ‘Middle Way’ (madhyamā-pratipad). Thus the self is neither eternal nor is it cut off at death: rather there is a dynamic continuity of the individual from one life to the next.

Subjects: Buddhism.

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