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Key Term bīja
Hover Popup Choices seed; karmic seed; karmic seeds
In Tibetan Script ས་བོན་
Wylie Tibetan Transliteration sa bon
Devanagari Sanskrit Script बीज
Romanized Sanskrit bīja
Chinese Script 無漏種
Chinese Pinyin zhongzi
Japanese Transliteration shuji
English Standard seed
Richard Barron's English Term potential(ity)
Jeffrey Hopkin's English Term seed
Dan Martin's English Term seed
Gyurme Dorje's English Term seed [of consciousness]
Ives Waldo's English Term seed; germ
Term Type Noun
Source Language Sanskrit
Basic Meaning A seed, commonly used figuratively in the sense of something which has the potential to develop or grow, and likewise as the basic cause for this development or growth.
Has the Sense of This term can be used in a variety of contexts, though one of the more common usages is related to the Buddhist notion of karma, cause and effect. In this sense, bīja are the seeds of karmic actions, which have the potential to ripen into karmic consequences.
Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism See page 119: In Sanskrit, “seed,” a term used metaphorically in two important contexts: (1) in the theory of karman, an action is said to plant a “seed” or “potentiality” in the mind, where it will reside until it fructifies as a future experience or is destroyed by wisdom; (2) in tantric literature, many deities are said to have a “seed syllable” or seed mantra that is visualized and recited in liturgy and meditation in order to invoke the deity.
Rangjung Yeshe's English Term 1) seed; germ, seed-corn, corn, grain. 2) potential(ity); seed, 3) seed syllable
Other Definitions Jeffrey Hopkins clarifies: "In the Mind-Only (sems tsam, citta-mātra) school, this is a synonym of bag chags; in the Consequentialist (thal 'gyur, prAsaGgika) school, it is not the same as bag chags."