Ten topics of knowledge

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The ten topics of knowledge (Tib. མཁས་པར་བྱ་བའི་གནས་བཅུ་, Wyl. mkhas par bya ba'i gnas bcu) are indentified in the Madhyantavibhaga of Maitreya. According to the text, each of the ten topics is an antidote to one of the ten views of the self.

The ten topics are:[1]

  1. Aggregates (Tib. ཕུང་པོ་; Skt. skandha)
  2. Elements (Tib.ཁམས་; Skt. dhātu)
  3. Sense sources (Tib. སྐྱེ་མཆེད་; Skt. āyatana)
  4. Dependent origination (Tib. རྟེན་འབྲེལ་; Skt. pratītyasamutpāda)
  5. The correct and the incorrect (Tib. གནས་དང་གནས་མ་ཡིན་པ་; Skt. sthānāsthāna)
  6. The faculties (Tib. དབང་པོ་; Skt. indriya)
  7. Time (Tib. དུས་; Skt. adhvan) - all phenomena are subject to arising, abiding and ceasing
  8. The truths (Tib. བདེན་པ་; Skt. satya) - refers to the four noble truths and two truths
  9. The vehicles (Tib. ཐེག་པ་; Skt. yāna) - refers to the three vehicles of the Mahayana
  10. The conditioned and the unconditioned (Tib. འདུས་བྱས་དང་འདུས་མ་བྱས་; Skt. saṁskṛta-asaṁskṛta)

These topics are elaborated upon in the Khenjuk, a commentary by Mipham Rinpoche.

Other Similar Lists

In the Avatamsaka Sutra six topics of knowledge are mentioned, i.e. aggregates, elements, sense sources, dependent origination (known collectively as the four gates to the truth), the correct and the incorrect and the truths.

In the Sutra of Inexhaustible Intelligence there is mention of eight topics: time is mentioned instead of the correct and the incorrect, and the vehicles and the conditioned and unconditioned are also mentioned.


  1. Middle Beyond Extremes: Maitreya's Madhyantavibhaga with Commentaries by Khenpo Shenga and Ju Mipham by the Dharmachakra Translation Committee. Snow Lion Publications. Ithica: 2007.

Further Reading

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