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Abhūtaparikalpa (T. yang dag par ma yin pa'i kun rtog; C. xuwang fenbie 妄分別),[1][2] or false imagining,[2] is a key concept of the Yogacara school that is used to describe the three natures.

The term refers to the tendency to project a dualistic view of self and other (apprehender and apprehended) upon appearances.

Abhūtaparikalpa is a key term in the Madhyantavibhaga and its related commentaries.

Alternate translations

  • false imagining (Buswell)
  • false imagination (Padmakara, "Middle Beyond Extremes")


  1. Dharmachakra Translation Committee, Middle Beyond Extremes, 2006
  2. 2.0 2.1 Princeton Dict icon 166px.png Robert E. Buswell Jr., Donald S. Lopez Jr., The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism (Princeton: 2014), s.v. Abhūtaparikalpa

Further reading

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