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paramāṇu


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(Skt.). An atom, being the smallest unit of matter posited in Buddhism and defined as a speck of matter which is partless and indivisible. Standard Abhidharma doctrines hold that each paramāṇu is a composite of various dharmas or their ‘seeds’, but this view was criticized by Mahāyāna followers of Yogācāra andMadhyamaka who maintained that such atoms were conceptual fictions as their existence was logically incoherent.

Subjects: Religion


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