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anutpāda [alt. anutpanna] (T. skye med སྐྱེ་མེད་; C. wusheng 無生) is translated as "unproduced," "nonproduction," etc. This term is used to describe unconditioned phenomena which are not subject to either production or cessation.[1]

The Princeton Dictionary states:

In some Mahāyāna sūtras, all phenomena, including impermanent phenomena, are described as anutpāda; this is interpreted to mean that they ultimately are neither produced nor extinguished.[1]

In this context, all dharmas are ultimately not produced.[2]

Atiśa states:

One may wonder, "From where did all this come in the first place, and to where does it depart now?" Once examined in this way, [one sees that] it neither comes from anywhere nor departs to anywhere. All inner and outer phenomena are just like that.[3][note 1]

Chandrakirti, in his Yuktisastikavrrti, states:

Nagarjuna taught, "bereft of beginning, middle, and end," meaning that the world is free from creation, duration, and destruction.[4]

The concept of the non-arising (anutpāda) of dharmas is an important features of the Prajñāpāramitā Sutras and Madhyamaka.[note 2][note 3]

According to D.T Suzuki, "anutpada" is not the opposite of "utpada", but transcends opposites. It is the "seeing into the true nature of existence,"[5] the seeing that "all objects are without self-substance".[6]


"Anutpāda" means "an absence of an origin,"[7] "having no origin", "not coming into existence", "not taking effect", "non-production".[8]

  • "An" also means "not", or "non"
  • "Utpāda" means "genesis", "coming forth", "birth"[9]


  1. Brunholzl quotes Atisha's Centrist Pith Instructions, Called The Open jewel Casket.
  2. Buswell, Robert; Lopez, Donald S. Jr., eds. (2014), The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, Princeton University Press pg. 945 "In the PRAJÑĀPĀRAMITĀ literature and the MADHYAMAKA school, the notion of production comes under specific criticism (see VAJRAKAṆĀ), with NĀGĀRJUNA famously asking, e.g., how an effect can be produced from a cause that is either the same as or different from itself. The prajñāpāramitā sūtras thus famously declare that all dharmas are actually ANUTPĀDA, or “unproduced.”"
  3. King, Richard (1995), Early Advaita Vedānta and Buddhism: The Mahāyāna Context of the Gauḍapādīya-kārikā, SUNY Press pg.113 "It is equally apparent that one of the important features of the Prajnaparamita position is that of the nonarising (anutpada) of dharmas."


  1. 1.0 1.1 Buswell & Lopez 2014, s.v. anutpāda.
  2. King 1995, p. 113.
  3. Brunholzl 2004, p. 295.
  4. Loizzo, Joseph Nagarjuna's Reason Sixty. American Institute of Buddhist Studies 2007, page 177.
  5. Suzuki 1999, p. 123-124.
  6. Suzuki 1999, p. 168.
  7. Renard 2010, p. 157.
  8. Sanskrit Dictionary for Spoken Sanskrit, Anutpāda
  9. "Sanskrit Dictionary for Spoken Sanskrit, Utpāda". Archived from the original on 2017-06-20. Retrieved 2013-02-15.  Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)


  • King, Richard (1 January 1995). Early Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism: The Mahayana Context of the Gaudapadiya-Karika. SUNY Press. ISBN 978-0-7914-2513-8. 
  • Renard, Philip (2010), Non-Dualisme. De directe bevrijdingsweg, Cothen: Uitgeverij Juwelenschip