Points of Controversy

19.2. Of Emptiness

Controverted Point: That “Emptiness” is included in the aggregate of mental co-efficients (saṅkhārakkhandha).

Theravādin: Do you then imply that the “Signless,” that the “Desireless” is also so included? If not, “Emptiness” cannot be, for you cannot predicate of the last that which you deny of the former two.

Again, if the fourth aggregate be made to include “Emptiness,” it must be not impermanent, not arisen through a cause, not liable to perish, nor to lose lust, nor to cease, nor to change!

Moreover, is the “emptiness” of the material aggregate included under the fourth aggregate? Or the “emptiness” of the second, third, and fifth aggregates thereunder? Or is the “emptiness ” of the fourth aggregate itself included under any of the other four? If the one inclusion is wrong, so are all the other inclusions.

Andhakas: But was it not said by the Exalted One:

“Empty is this, bhikkhus—the saṅkhāras—either of soul or of what belongs to soul”