Provisional meaning

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Provisional meaning (Skt. neyārtha; Pal. neyyattha; Tib. དྲང་དོན་, drangdön, Wyl. drang don; lit. 'the meaning which requires drawing out') — the teachings of the Buddha may be divided into those of provisional meaning and those of definitive meaning. Teachings of provisional meaning include the eight kinds of implied and indirect teachings.

Mipham Rinpoche said:

When it comes to the meaning of what is taught,
You should know the provisional and definitive,
And rely not on any provisional meaning,
But only on the meaning that has certain truth.[1]

Alternative translations

  • Expedient meaning
  • Interpretable meaning
  • Implicit meaning (Nyanatiloka Mahathera)


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