Dependent nature

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Dependent nature (Skt. paratantra-svabhāva; Tib. གཞན་དབང་མཚན་ཉིད་, shyenwang tsennyi, Wyl. gzhan dbang mtshan nyid) ― the second of the three natures presented in the Mind Only school. Something that is dependent or other-dependent (Skt. paratantra; Tib. གཞན་དབང་, shyenwang, Wyl. gzhan dbang) exists only in and through dependence on another thing, so in this case, phenomena exist in dependence on the mind and its processes.[1]


The dependent is divided into

  • the "pure dependent" and the
  • the "impure dependent."

The impure dependent consists of deluded perceptions caused by distorted thinking, the perception of the universe and its inhabitants as they appear to beings.

The pure dependent is what appears in the form of illusions and dreams in the postmeditation state of sublime beings and is called the "mere relative of the postmeditation."[2]

Alternative Translations

  • Other-dependent
  • other-powered nature


  1. From an article by Jay L. Garfield on Vasubandhu’s Treatise on the Three Natures in Buddhist Philosophy: Essential Readings, Oxford University Press 2009.
  2. Khenpo Ngakchung, Zindri (Shambhala, 2004), pages 206-207.