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Base-knowledge (Skt. vastujñāna; Tib. གཞི་ཤེས་, Wyl. gzhi shes) is the third of the eight topics of the Abhisamayalankara.


Base-knowledge is defined as the limited knowledge that realizes all bases to be empty of the self of the individual.


When the actual [base-knowledge] is sub-divided, there is the base-knowledge of the shravakas and that of the pratyekabuddhas.

If divisions are made according to how the term is applied, there are five:

  • the base-knowledge that abides in neither existence nor quiescence,
  • the base-knowledge that is distant from the ‘resultant mother’,
  • the base-knowledge that is close to the ‘resultant mother’,
  • the base-knowledge that is unfavourable and
  • the base-knowledge that is a remedy.


The actual base-knowledge is present on the five paths of the basic yana, but all the noble ones of the mahayana possess the nominal base-knowledge. It is also said that it is present in the mind-stream of all noble ones.