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Dravyasat (Sanskrit; T. rdzas yod རྫས་ཡོད་; C. shi you; J. jitsuu; K. sil yu 實有) translates as "subtantially existent", "to exist substantially".

Jan Westerhoff states:

In Buddhist philosophical thought preceding Nāgārjuna we find the distinction between primary existents (dravyasat) and secondary existents (prajñaptisat). Primary existents constitute the objective and irreducible constituents of the world out there while secondary existents depend on our conceptual and linguistic practices.[1]

As stated above, the Abhidharma scholars of certain Early Buddhist schools asserted that some entities, such as partless particles, were dravyasat (substantially existent). This was contrasted to things that were made of collections or parts, which were described as prajñaptisat (imputed).

Vasubandhu refuted the possibility of dravyasat (substantially existent) entities in two of his works: the Abhidharmakośabhāṣya and the Viṃśatikā.

Alternative translations

  • Substantially existent (Buswell, Rangjung Yeshe)
  • to exist substantially (Rangjung Yeshe)
  • Existence in substance (Buswell)
  • Substantial entity (Rigpa wiki)
  • Concretum (Kapstein)

See also


  1. Westerhoff, Jan (2022), Sep-man-red.png Nāgārjuna, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy