The cause from which a result is obtained and which transforms into the result. For example, a seed is the obtaining cause for a sprout, and a network of positive force (a collection of merit) is the obtaining cause for a Corpus of Forms (Form Body) of a Buddha. Some translators render the term as "material cause," but this term does not refer to the physical elements that make up something.
Tibetan: nyer-len-gyi rgyu
J. Hopkins: Substantial cause.
Synonyms: Substantial cause; Material cause