Four characteristics of conditioned phenomena
Four characteristics of conditioned phenomena are identified in the Sanskrit 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).
The four characteristics of conditioned phenomena (samskara) are:
- jāti (T. skye ba) - birth
- sthiti (T. gnas pa) - abiding
- jarā (T. rga ba) - aging
- anityatā (T. mi rtag pa) - impermanence
- 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.
In the Abhidharma tradition of the Vaibhāṣika school, formations not concurrent with mind (aka non-concurrent formations) are understood as substantially existent entities. In the Sautrantika Abhidharma and in the Higher Abhidharma traditions, these formations are understood as imputations that arise from the mind.
The Pali tradition has a similar list, called: