These verses return to the question and answer format, where an imagined conversation is outlined by Shantideva, between adherents of the Shravakayana school and the Mahayana school of Buddhism.
The question is whether the understanding of emptiness, or shunyata, is necessary for enlightenment and for the practitioner to experience cessation of suffering. In teaching the Four Noble Truths the Buddha did not say that it is so, but he made clear in many other teachings and sutras that it is so.
However the rationale for the understanding as being necessary is arrived at in this debate, because, it is argued, the path to end suffering through seeing the causes of suffering and bringing about a cessation of suffering can only be fully understood once a person has discovered the truth of emptiness.
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