Absence of essence ~ Buddhapalita

What is the purpose of teaching dependent arising? The master Nagarjuna, whose very nature is compassion, saw that living beings are beset by various sufferings and assumed the task of teaching the reality of things just as it is so that they might be free. He therefore began teaching dependent arising. For, it is said:

“Seeing what is not real, you are bound;
Seeing the real, you are free.”

What is the reality of things just as it is? It is the absence of essence. Unskilled persons whose eye of intelligence is obscured by the darkness of delusion conceive of an essence in things and then generate attachment and hostility with regard to them. When the illumination of the knowledge of dependent arising clears away the darkness of delusion and the eye of wisdom sees the absence of essence in things, then there is no foundation for the other afflictions, and attachment and hostility do not develop.


Buddhapalita

quoted in the book The Great Treatise On The Stages Of The Path To Enlightenment Vol 3


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