chos 'khor gnyis pa

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Second Turning of the Wheel of Dharma. The teachings emphasizing 'emptiness,' that all phenomena are devoid of a self-entity and true existence [RY]

The Second Turning of the Wheel of Dharma. The second of the Three Turnings of the Wheel of Dharma, chos 'khor gsum. The second turning is said to have taken place at Vulture Peak Mountain in Rajagriha, in Bihar, India. The audience comprised bodhisattvas; in some telling there were also shravaka arhats there as well, who promptly had heart attacks and died from the shock of the new teachings. In the second turning, the emphasis is on emptiness (Skt: śūnyatā) as epitomized in the Prajnaparamita sutras, and on compassion (Skt: karuṇā). These two elements form bodhicitta, the epitome of the second turning. The Madhyamika school that Nagarjuna founded arose from his exegesis of the early texts and is included under the second turning. Nagarjuna attacked the metaphysics of the Sarvastivada school and a school which broke away from it called Sautrantika, and promoted, among other things, the classical emphasis on the dependent arising of phenomena of the early texts. The Second Turning is primarily about abandoning clinging to the self of individual and of phenomena. The Second Turning also involves an understanding of ethics from the standpoint of compassion grounded in an understanding of this emptiness. [Erick Tsiknopoulos]