Reply To: Compilation of experience note


Roman Jakobson, linguist, said

Languages differ essentially in what they must convey and not in what they may convey.

When I saw this, I could feel why Pāli word anatta must not be interpretated as “anātma”, the Sanskrit word.


The reasons are as follows :

  • Vedic brahmins wanted to be the Brahma permanently. They were attached to brahma bhava.

It is natural for such people to be obsessed with “No-self”.


  • According to neuroscience, human brain cannot understand negatives.

Let’s suppose that we heard like “Don’t think of an elephant“.

When we hear this, we have no choice but to think of an elephant.

Same way, the Sanskrit word “anātma”, means “No-self“, leads people obsessed to their bhava, I think.


  • But Pāli word anatta, which means worthless, leads peole to nibbana.

This is because everyone has an instinct to avoid damage.