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sthānāsthāna (T. gnas dang gnas ma yin pa གནས་དང་གནས་མ་ཡིན་པ་), what is possible and what is impossible, is the understanding of which causes give rise to which results.

Sthānāsthāna is identified as:

The Garland of Radiant Light states:

Generally, what we call knowing fact from non-fact (sthānāsthāna) has an extremely broad relevance. It involves knowing which causes produce which effects and which effects are based on which causes. It entails understanding what is possible and what is not, what is fact and what isn't. Such insight enables one to engage the coarse and subtle aspects of all the positive factors associated with the transcendence of suffering, and also to avoid the coarse and subtle aspects of the negative factors linked with cyclic existence.[2]

The Gateway to Knowledge states:

The categories of what is correct and incorrect (sthānāsthāna) encompass all objects of knowledge. They are the difference between what results and what does not result from a certain cause. For instance, it is correct that pleasure results from a virtuous action and not pain; and that from a grain of rice grows a rice sprout, rather than a barley sprout. It is correct that the person who realizes the absence of a self attains liberation, while it is incorrect that someone who holds the existence of a self attains liberation.
It is correct that fire is hot, and incorrect that it is cold. As in these examples, all objects of knowledge by nature encompass various categories of what is correct and incorrect.[3]

Alternate translations

  • what is possible and what is impossible (Dharmachakra Translation Committee, The Precious Discourse on the Blessed One’s Extensive Wisdom That Leads to Infinite Certainty)[4]
  • fact and non-fact (Dharmachakra Translation Committee, Middle Beyond Extremes)
  • the correct and the incorrect (Erik Pema Kunsang, Gateway to Knowledge)
  • what can be and can not be (Buswell)
  • what is tenable and untenable (84000 glossary)[5]

See also


  1. Buswell & Lopez 2014, s.v. bala.
  2. Dharmachakra Translation Committee 2007, s.v. The Ten Topics of Knowledge.
  3. Mipham Rinpoche 2004, s.v. The Correct and the Incorrect.
  4. 84000.png Ten powers (glossary)
  5. Internet-icon.svg gnas, Christian-Steinert Dictionary