Ten topics of knowledge

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The ten topics of knowledge (Wyl. mkhas par bya ba'i gnas bcu) are listed in the Madhyantavibhanga of Maitreya:

  1. Aggregates (Skt. skandha)
  2. Elements (Skt. dhātu)
  3. Sense sources (Skt. āyatana)
  4. Dependent origination (Skt. pratītyasamutpāda)
  5. The correct and the incorrect (Skt. sthānāsthāna)
  6. The faculties (Skt. indriya)
  7. Time (Skt. adhvan)
  8. The truths (i.e., the four noble truths and two truths) (Skt. satya)
  9. The vehicles (Skt. yāna)
  10. The conditioned and the unconditioned (Skt. saṁskṛta-asaṁskṛta)

Antidotes to the Ten Views of Self

These ten are said to be antidotes to ten views of the self. As the root text of the Madhyantavibhanga says:

Single, the cause and consumer,
The agent and in control,
The owner and permanent,
Afflicted and then purified,
Possessor of yoga, unfree and then freed--
These are ten views of self.[1]

Other Similar Lists

In the Avatamsaka Sutra six topics of knowledge are mentioned, i.e. aggregates, elements, sense sources, dependent origination (known collectively as the four gates to the truth), the correct and the incorrect and the truths.

In the Sutra of Inexhaustible Intelligence there is mention of eight topics: time is mentioned instead of the correct and the incorrect, and the vehicles and the conditioned and unconditioned are also mentioned.


  1. gcig dang rgyu dang za ba dang
    byed pa dang ni dbang bsgyur dang
    bdag po’I don dang rtag pa dang
    nyon mongs pa dang dag pa’i gnas
    rnal ‘byor can dang ma grol grol
    ‘di dag la ni bdag tu lta

Further Reading

These ten topics are explained in detail in Mipham Rinpoche's Khenjuk.