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Tainted (Skt. sāsrava; Tib. ཟག་བཅས་, zakché, Wyl. zag bcas) — all conditioned phenomena, with the exception of the truth of the path, are said to be 'tainted', in the sense that 'taints' or destructive emotions can develop in relation to them, which will result in further samsaric existence. Hence, in the Four Seals, it is said, "All that is tainted is suffering."

Vasubandhu says in his Treasury of Abhidharma:

Tainted and untainted phenomena:

Except the truth of path, conditioned things

Are tainted since taints

Can develop in relation to them.

In the chapter on the truth of the origin of suffering in the Khenjuk, Mipham Rinpoche says:

Destructive emotions are the creators of taints in samsara. All mutually connected phenomena that provide an opportunity for disturbing emotions to develop through either focus or concurrence are called 'tainted'.
What does that mean? Except for the truth of the path and unconditioned things, which are untainted, all conditioned things are tainted.

Alternative translations

  • Contaminated
  • Defiled
  • Impure
  • With outflows
  • Influenced (Stcherbatsky)

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