Re: [INDOLOGY] New Book: The Ātman-Brahman in Ancient Buddhism

David and Nancy Reigle dnreigle at
Sat May 16 04:08:09 UTC 2015

Dear Dean,

Since no one has yet replied to this, I will just give some bibliographic
information (not exactly recommendations). I do not know of a systematic
scholarly study of the Buddhist position on anātman that lays out and
compares the two sides of this question.

The widely accepted view, that the Buddhist anātman/anattā teaching denies
the existence of an ātman/attā, not only in the person but also beyond the
person, is represented in this study:

*Selfless Persons: Imagery and Thought in Theravāda Buddhism*, by Steven
Collins (Cambridge University Press, 1982).

Another study also represents this view, although the author distinguishes
his position on it from that of Collins (p. 7):

*The Selfless Mind: Personality, Consciousness and Nirvāṇa in Early
Buddhism*, by Peter Harvey (Curzon Press, 1995).

The view that the Buddhist anātman/anattā teaching denies the existence of
an ātman/attā only in the person (pudgala), i.e., in the five aggregates
(skandha) that make up a person, is represented in Kamaleswar
Bhattacharya’s book and in another study:

*Self and Non-Self in Early Buddhism*, by Joaquín Pérez-Remón (Mouton
Publishers, 1980).

Bhattacharya notes, however (1993, p. 26 fn. 2): “Despite an apparently
identical standpoint, there is a gulf of difference between Pérez-Remón’s
approach and mine—a difference which, unfortunately, has often been missed
by scholars.”

Best regards,

David Reigle

Cotopaxi, Colorado, U.S.A.

On Thu, May 14, 2015 at 8:34 PM, Dean Michael Anderson <
eastwestcultural at> wrote:

> Have there been any systematic scholarly studies of the Buddhist positions
> on anatman that someone could recommend?
> Bhattacharya:
> "It is sometimes said that although the texts that have been used prove
> that the Buddha did not deny the Upaniṣadic *ātman*, or even that he
> accepted it, there are others, thousands of others, which prove just the
> opposite. Well, since the names of those texts have not been revealed so
> far, I will stick to my position until it is *proved* wrong."
> Best,
> Dean Anderson
> East West Cultural Institute

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list