Treatise on the Three Natures

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The Treatise on the Three Natures (Skt. trisvabhāvanirdeśa; Tib. རང་བཞིན་གསུམ་ངེས་པར་བསྟན་པ་, rangshyin sum ngepar tenpa, Wyl. rang bzhin gsum nges par bstan pa) is a short treatise (of 38 stanzas) by Vasubandhu describing the three natures.

Karl Brunnhölzl writes: "Vasubandhu’s Instruction on the Three Natures was probably his last work and there is no written commentary on it. Thus lacking a recognized line of transmission, unfortunately, this beautiful and profound work is almost never studied or taught in contemporary Buddhist centers of learning. It gives a terse, yet very illuminating, presentation of the three natures and their mutual relations, how delusion manifests and how it is dissolved."[1]


  1. Straight from the Heart: Buddhist Pith Instructions, pages 44-45.


In English

  • Stefan Anacker, Seven Works of Vasubandhu: The Buddhist Psychological Doctor (Motilal Banarsidass, 2nd Edition, 2002), pp. 287-297
  • Karl Brunnhölzl, Straight from the Heart: Buddhist Pith Instructions (Snow Lion, 2007), pp. 43-53
  • Ben Connelly, Vasubandhu's “Three Natures”—A Practitioner's Guide for Liberation (Wisdom Publications, 2022)
  • Jay L. Garfield, 'Vasubandhu's Treatise on the Three Natures' in Empty Words: Buddhist Philosophy and Cross-Cultural Interpretation (Oxford University Press, 2002)
  • Thomas Kochumuttom, A Buddhist Doctrine of Experience: A New Translation and Interpretation of the Works of Vasubandhu the Yogācārin, Motilal Banarsidass (Delhi 1982).

In French

  • Louis de la Vallée Poussin, Le Petit Traite de Vasubandhu-Nāgārjuna sur les trois natures (Trisvabhāvanirdeśa). Mélanges Chinoises et Bouddhiques 2 (1933): 147 61.
  • Philippe Cornu, Vasubandhu, Cinq traités sur l'esprit seulement (Paris: Fayard, 2008).