Four characteristics of conditioned phenomena

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Four characteristics of conditioned phenomena are identified in the Sanskrit Abhidharma tradition, where they are referred to as either saṃskṛtalakṣaṇa (T. ’dus byas kyi mtshan nyid; C. youwei xiang; E. characteristics of conditioned phenomena) or caturlakṣaṇa (T. mtshan nyid bzhi; C. sixiang; E. four characteristics).[1][2]

The four characteristics are:

  1. birth (S. jāti; Wyl. skye ba)
  2. abiding (S. sthiti; Wyl. gnas pa)
  3. aging (S. jara; Wyl. rga ba)
  4. impermanence (S. aniyata; Wyl. mi rtag pa)

"The Vaibashikas assert that these four arise simultaneously to the conditioned entity and that they are capable of being grasped as distinct in substance from the conditioned thing itself."[3]

These four are included in the fourteen non-concurrent formations of the Abhidharma-kosha.

References

  1. Princeton Dict icon 166px.png Buswell & Lopez 2014, saṃskṛtalakṣaṇa
  2. Princeton Dict icon 166px.png Buswell & Lopez 2014, caturlakṣaṇa
  3. Book icoline.svg Thupten Jinpa (editor), Ian James Coghlan (translator), Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics, Volume 1: The Physical World (Wisdom: 2017), 146


Sources

  • Princeton Dict icon 166px.png Buswell, Robert E.; Lopez, Donald S. (2014), The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, Princeton University 
  • Book icoline.svg Thupten Jinpa (editor), Ian James Coghlan (translator), Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics, Volume 1: The Physical World (Wisdom: 2017), 146