Anatta – there is no permanent self.
Sunyata – emptiness.
Five khandas – the human personality is made up of 5 qualities.
Chariot – a medieval method of transport.
Anatta and the analogy of the chariot
Nagasena asks if the pole of the chariot is the chariot. Answer, no. Nagasena asks if the axel is the chariot or if the wheels are the chariot. Answer, no. Nagasena asks if the reins are the chariot. To this and further questions about the parts, the answer is no. Nagasena explains that the chariot is not something other than these parts. Yet the parts are not the chariot. Nagasena states that chariot is just a word, it exists, but only in relation to the parts. The concept "chariot" does not have an intrinsic, inherent value or place as something permanent. It is the same with the self. We certainly exist, just as a chariot exists, but it is more in terms of conventional language as opposed to absolute language. Nagasena developed this excellent teaching from the wise words of Venerable Vajjira, a bhikkhuni who lived during the time of the Buddha.
Sunyata means emptiness but it also means that nothing is separate from anything else and everything is connected. Like a wave in the ocean
Sunyata means the concept that nothing has a separate, independent ‘self’ or ‘soul’ ( linked to anatta) and is essential for achieving enlightenment.
Sunyata is a Mahayana belief and it emphasises that not only do humans beings not have a fixed independent, unchanging nature – but that in fact all things are like that. Nothing exists independently, but because of other things; a wave for instance cannot be separated from the sea.
Theravada Buddhists are taught that the human personality is made up of five parts, called the Five Khandas
1)Form (the body)
3)Perception (recognising what things are)
4)Mental formations (thoughts)
5)Consciousness (Being aware of things)