From Tsadra Commons

Key Term saṃvṛtisatya
Hover Popup Choices relative truth; conventional truth; relatively true; conventionaly true
In Tibetan Script ཀུན་རྫོབ་བདེན་པ་
Wylie Tibetan Transliteration kun rdzob bden pa
Devanagari Sanskrit Script संवृतिसत्य
Romanized Sanskrit saṃvṛtisatya
Tibetan Phonetic Rendering kundzop denpa
Chinese Script 世俗諦; 俗諦‎
Chinese Pinyin shì sú dì; sú dì
Japanese Transliteration sezokutai; zokutai
English Standard relative truth
Karl Brunnhölzl's English Term seeming reality
Richard Barron's English Term relative (level of) truth
Jeffrey Hopkin's English Term conventional truth; obscured truth
Gyurme Dorje's English Term relative truth
Ives Waldo's English Term relative truth
Term Type Noun
Source Language Sanskrit
Basic Meaning "Relative truth" or "conventional truth"; the erroneously perceived reality common to the unenlightened.
Has the Sense of Reality as it is experienced by ordinary people whose perception is clouded by ignorance, in contrast to "ultimate truth" or "absolute truth," which is reality as perceived by an enlightened being. Relative truth has practical value in daily life, but upon examination all phenomena are found to be empty of individual, permanent existence.
Did you know? Saṃvṛtisatya is also understood to mean the unavoidable domain through which sentient beings must navigate and communicate with one another in the mundane world. Thus buddhas and bodhisattvas use their knowledge of conventional truths to teach unenlightened beings and lead them away from suffering. - Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, page 762.
Related Terms paramārthasatya
Rangjung Yeshe's English Term relative/ conventional/ superficial truth; conventional truth, apparent reality, deceptive truth; relative truth. one of the {bden pa gnyis} two truths, superficial truth, truth for a concealer; Relative Truth, [samvrittika satya]
Tshig mdzod Chen mo bden pa gnyis kyi ya gyal zhig ste/ bye brag smra bas gang zhig bcom pa'am blos cha shas so sor bsal ba na rang 'dzin gyi blo 'dor rung ba'i chos su dmigs pa gzung 'dzin rags pa rnams dang/ mdo sde pas rtog pas btags pa tsam du grub pa'i chos spyi mtshan rnams dang/ sems tsam pas tha snyad dpyod pa'i rig shes kyis rnyed don kun btags dang gzhan dbang gi chos/ dbu ma pas rang mngon sum du rtogs pa'i mngon sum tshad mas rang nyid gnyis snang dang bcas pa'i tshul gyi rtogs par bya ba rten 'brel snang ba'i chos su 'dod pa bcas 'dod lugs mi 'dra ba bzhi yod/
Simplified English Usage Example:

Without a proper understanding of the vast aspects of the relative truth, meditation on Emptiness can be misleading and even dangerous.

(Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso, Progressive Stages of Meditation on Emptiness, 1988)
sutra/śastra quote:

Relative and ultimate,
These the two truths are declared to be.
The ultimate is not within the reach of intellect,

For intellect is said to be the relative.
sutra/śastra quote source: The Way of the Bodhisattva, Padmakara Translation Group, 2008, page 229
Usage Example


saṃvṛtiḥ paramārthaś ca satyadvayam idaṃ matam
buddher agocaras tattvaṃ buddhiḥ saṃvṛtir ucyate
Śāntideva, Bodhicaryāvatāra 9.2


བྱང་ཆུབ་སེམས་པའི་སྤྱོད་པ་ལ་འཇུག་པ་ 9.2