Śūnyatā – pronounced in English as (shoon-ya-ta), translated most often as emptiness and sometimes voidness.
Within Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and other philosophical strands the concept has multiple meanings depending on its doctrinal context.
It is either an ontological feature of reality, a meditative state, or a phenomenological analysis of experience.
Rangtong is the majority Tibetan teaching on the nature of śūnyatā or "emptiness", namely that all phenomena are empty of a self-nature in both the relative and absolute sense, without positing anything beyond that.
This position is the mainstream Tibetan interpretation of Madhyamaka, especially by the followers of Prasaṅgika Mādhyamaka.
Tsongkhapa (1357–1419), who also wrote in response to shentong, is the most outspoken defendant of rangtong. He saw emptiness as a consequence of dependent designation, the .
Madhyamaka also known as Śūnyavāda and Niḥsvabhāvavāda refers to a tradition of Buddhist philosophy and practice founded by the Indian philosopher Nāgārjuna.
The foundational text of the Mādhyamaka tradition is Nāgārjuna's Mūlamadhyamakakārikā.
More broadly, Madhyamaka also refers to the ultimate nature of phenomena and the realization of this in meditative equipoise.
According to the classical madhyamaka thinkers, all phenomena (dharmas) are empty (śūnya) of "nature," a "substance" or "essence" (svabhāva) which gives them "solid and .