Three seals

From Encyclopedia of Buddhism
Jump to: navigation, search
Translations of
"three seals"
English three seals,
three dharma seals
Sanskrit trimudrā
Chinese 三法印
Japanese tbd
(rōmaji: samboin)

The three seals (Sanskrit: trimudrā) or three dharma seals (Sanskrit: tri dharma mudra) is a formulation of the fundamental tenets of Buddhism that is commonly used in East Asian Buddhism.[1][2] "Any teaching that does not bear these Three Seals cannot be said to be a teaching of the Buddha."[1]

According to the East Asian teachers Thich Nhat Hanh and Hsing Yun, the three seals are:

Note that similar, though slightly different, formulations are used in Theravada and Tibetan Buddhism:

  • in the Theravada tradition, the three dharma seals, more commonly known as the three marks of existence, are impermanence, nonself, and dukkha.
  • in the Tibetan tradition, the four dharma seals is the most common expression of the basic tenets. The four dharma seals are also referenced by East Asian Buddhist teachers.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Three Dharma Seals (Thich Nhat Hanh)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Yun, Hsing (2008). "The Core Teachings". Buddha's Light Publishing. p. 49. ISBN 9781932293326. 

Further reading

This article is developed by our editors based on the sources cited. Our team icon 75px.png