Rice Seedling Sutra

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Rice Seedling Sutra (Skt. Śalistambasūtra; Tib. ས་ལུའི་ལྗང་པའི་མདོ་, Wyl. sa lu'i ljang pa'i mdo) — a short sutra of the Mahayana in which Buddha taught the twelve links of dependent origination. The sutra is presented as a discussion between two of the Buddha's principle disciples, Shariputra and Maitreya.

In the sūtra, Śāriputra asks Maitreya to explain a statement that the Buddha had made earlier that day while gazing at a rice seedling. [The Buddha had said:]

Whoever sees dependent arising sees the Dharma.
Whoever sees the Dharma sees the Buddha.”[1]

The remainder of the sutra is brief description of the twelve links of dependent arising, the eightfold path, and their relation to outer and inner causes and conditions.[1]

Five features of dependently arising products

The Rice Seedling Sutra identifies five features of all dependently arising products:[2]

  1. They have come from causes (Tib. rgyu dang bcas las byung ba)
  2. They have come from impermanent conditions (Tib. mi rtag pa'i rkyen las byung ba)
  3. They are characterized by selflessness (Tib. bdag med pa'i las byung ba)
  4. They have come from conditions with potential (Tib. nus pa'i rkyen las byung ba)
  5. They have come from conditions free from the act of creation (Tib. bya ba med pa'i rkyen las byung ba)



  1. 1.0 1.1 The Rice Seedling and its Fruit, http://84000.co/the-rice-seedling-and-its-fruit/
  2. Rinchen 2006, p. 122.


  • Geshe Sonam Rinchen, How Karma Works: The Twelve Links of Dependent Arising (Snow Lion, 2006)
  • The Dalai Lama, The Meaning of Life, translated and edited by Jeffrey Hopkins (Wisdom, 2000)
  • N. Ross Reat, The Śalistamba Sūtra (Dehli: Molital Baranasidas, 1993)
  • 84000.png The Rice Seedling (Śālistamba) - translation of the sutra into English by 84000


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